We have now officially opened our new state-of-the-art hospital in Swansea’s SA1. The hospital, which is owned and operated by not-for-profit healthcare specialists, the Healthcare Management Trust (HMT), has been under construction for nearly two years. The opening marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Sancta Maria which has had a presence in Swansea since the 1950’s.
The new £25m hospital offers a range of improved facilities including on-site diagnostic equipment in the form of an MRI scanner and digital X-ray machine. It also has on-site parking, step-free access, 12 en-suite patient bedrooms, three surgical theatres and a dedicated day surgery unit.
The opening of the hospital cements Sancta Maria’s presence in Swansea for years to come. Sancta Maria has been providing exemplary private healthcare from its Uplands hospital since 1958. After adapting its premises in Uplands over the last several decades, HMT decided that a new purpose-built facility was required to continue to offer the highest standards of healthcare to its patients and to improve the patient experience with advanced diagnostic equipment in a more accessible building.
Tony Barrett, Chief Executive of HMT, commented: “The opening of the new hospital is a landmark event for the charity. This is the culmination of hard work and of a determination to keep quality health care right here in Swansea. It is the result of extensive collaboration with our design team, construction company Kier, local partners, University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), our employees, and the entire community.
“We are keen to improve the patient experience and make sure individuals and families receive the treatment and support they need to lead healthy lives. We are committed to continue our vision of delivering high quality healthcare in the most appropriate way and this new hospital will enable us to do this.”
John Folliott Vaughan, Chairman of HMT, stated: “This is an exciting day for the charity and for the community of Swansea. Our Trustees would like to thank the many partners who contributed their visions, persistence and hard work that resulted in the completion and opening of our new hospital. We would also like to thank the community for its support as the vision has become a reality, continuing the caring tradition of the original founders of Sancta Maria, the Ursuline Sisters. With this new hospital we intend to continue providing quality healthcare in Swansea for many years to come.”
The hospital will be opening without the fanfare that had been expected when ground was broken at the SA1 site in March 2019. While no one could have predicted the devasting and sustained impact of the pandemic, it has brought about an increased demand for private healthcare. However, HMT Sancta Maria Hospital has also worked with NHS Wales and Swansea Bay University Health Board throughout the pandemic, and is continuing a dialogue to offer support and to relieve some of the pressure that the NHS is currently experiencing.
Geoff Bailey, Hospital Director, comments: “The entire Sancta Maria team are very excited to make the move to our brand-new hospital. While we won’t be having the opening party that we would want, we are incredibly proud to showcase this new facility to our patients and to bring with us the same exemplary care that we have offered for many years in the Uplands.
“We will also be replicating our stringent COVID safety measures at the new hospital which sees visitors have their temperatures taken on arrival as well as wearing masks and sanitising their hands. The new facility, with its wider corridors and more open spaces will allow us to better manage the patient flow for the time being.”
Construction of the £25m hospital was completed by Kier. The building includes a range of eco-friendly features including ten electric car charging spaces for staff and guests, a solar photovoltaic array on the roof covering 150m2 to sustainably power the building and ultra-high performance thermally efficient timber composite windows throughout.
Jason Taylor, operations director for Kier Regional Building Western & Wales, said: “I am delighted to hand over the new facilities to the hospital team at HMT Sancta Maria. It has been a truly collaborative effort from everyone involved and the result is a quality building and state-of-the-art amenities that will support the hospital in serving the Swansea community for years to come.
“We have utilised our vast experience within the healthcare sector and worked with our local and trusted supply chain partners to deliver this scheme and I am delighted it is now ready and staff can move in and start to make use of their new hospital”
Architectural and Principal Designer services were provided by global design and technology firm, IBI Group. Mark Williams, IBI Group’s Cardiff Studio Associate and Project Manager, comments: “We’re pleased to see the completion of the new HMT Sancta Maria Hospital which will supply the highest standards of care to the Swansea community. The exceptional facilities are testament to the collaborative efforts of the highly experienced design team and we’re proud to deliver amenities that reflect the quality of care provided by hospital staff. In addition to delivering the building form to facilitate operational function, our interior design team worked closely with the client to ensure that the end result provides the desired aesthetic and as befits that of the HMT ethos and brand”
The Healthcare Management Trust is a charity that operates a number of healthcare facilities throughout the UK including hospitals and care homes. As a not-for-profit, its surpluses are used to support Dementia research, to provide educational grants and to fund medical research around ageing. On a local level, HMT Sancta Maria funds the Musical Memories Choir, a choir for people living with Dementia and their carers.