STRUCTURE: A specialist trust in Birmingham is considering moving onto the site of a major local acute hospital as part of a programme of closer working between providers in the city.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust is in talks with Birmingham Women’s Foundation Trust and University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust over the possibility of setting up a “health campus” on the grounds of Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The site is run by University Hospital Birmingham Foundation Trust. Birmingham Women’s Hospital is already based there.

The cost of redeveloping Birmingham Children’s Hospital is estimated at £350m-£450m. The trust is also considering a rebuild on its existing site, but a joint press release issued by the trusts this week emphasises the benefits of co-location. The cost of the programme would be the same for BCH whether it moves to the Queen Elizabeth site or not.

To explore options, the three NHS providers have set up a joint working group to develop a 10 year plan for acute care in the city. The University of Birmingham is also involved.

They agree that reconfiguration of the services they deliver is needed to ensure good outcomes for their patients.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive David Melbourne said: “Developing a new facility that can create a world-class health campus in partnership with QEHB, Birmingham Women’s Hospital and the University of Birmingham will ensure that we can continue to fulfill that ambition for the foreseeable future.”

Birmingham Women’s Hospital Foundation Trust chief executive Ros Keeton said the long term vision is for a fully integrated women’s health service for the wider Birmingham area.

“Co-location on a health campus will be essential to ensure that our services are delivered in partnership with other specialist services and provide the very best outcomes.”

Rising levels of complexity would require more integration between providers in the future, she added.

The three trusts have agreed in principle to:

  • Co-locate hospitals and academic institutions;
  • Maximise the benefits of the existing city centre site for continued healthcare for all patients as well as providing for much needed regeneration and employment;
  • Develop a centre of regeneration providing new, knowledge-intensive jobs, leading economic change from manufacturing to technology, medical devices to intelligent informatics.