On Friday 17 November, we held a topping out ceremony to mark the construction of the new Emergency Department (ED).
Staff, contractors and supporters came together on the roof of the new ED to celebrate the pace at which the construction work is taking place, with the building now water tight, interior walls in place and individual clinical areas starting to take shape.
Kevin McNamara, Chief Executive, Julian Auckland-Lewis, Way Forward Programme Director and Natalie Lawrence, Lead Nurse for the Integrated Front Door, left a lasting mark on the ED by printing their hand prints in wet cement.
Local resident Royston Cartwright also showed his support for the project by raking the remaining gravel into position on the roof. Royston was invited to the topping out ceremony as a thank you for a generous donation he made to the charitable Way Forward Appeal after his life was saved by staff following a cardiac arrest.
Royston was also joined at the ceremony by a number of other supporters, some of whom have also donated to the Brighter Futures Appeal, which will go a long way in providing additional equipment for the new ED including an x-ray.
During the day, four children from the Little Pioneers Nursery on site at the hospital also delivered a time capsule of drawings and a letter about the year 2023, which will be buried in the foundations of the ED.
At the topping out ceremony, Kevin McNamara said: "This has been something that has been many years in the making and it was only January of this year that we got the money and started building in earnest.
“It’s a privilege to stand here and it’s only because of the hundreds of people inside the Trust and out who have come together to make this a reality. There will be many hundreds of thousands of local people who will benefit because of the work that has been done up to today.
“A huge thank you to everyone for your patience and commitment in pursuing this project.”