Cossham Hospital restoration at least one month behind schedule
THE opening of Kingswood's community hospital has been delayed due to the extent of restoration work on the 105-year-old building.
It had been hoped that Cossham Hospital would open to its first patients in October but further delays with the £19 million redevelopment mean that it is at least a month behind schedule.
NHS project director for South Gloucestershire, Bristol and North Somerset Ben Bennett, told the Post that it was too early to say when the Lodge Road community hospital would open but said the local health trusts were working on the basis it will open during this year.
Cossham Community Hospital was originally due to open early this year but the discovery of a mine shaft on the site put the project back to the autumn. Further delays have been a result of other structural work that has had to be carried out on the building, which was completed in 1907.
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In 2004 the hospital had been threatened with closure but a campaign by residents led to the local health trusts agreeing to restore it as a community hospital.
Contractors stripped back the building as part of the aim to restore the hospital to its former glory while making it suitable for providing outpatient services, diagnostic tests, therapies and to house Bristol's first stand-alone midwife-led birth centre.
But during the work – that also involved taking away previous alterations that detracted from the character of the building – workers have found that parts of the structure were not as sound as they should be and have had to carry out further unexpected works to rectify the issues.
Mr Bennett, left, said: "The project has had a difficult building phase and even the builders have been surprised by the extent. They have had to fill in mines and undertake structural replacement. Everyone is committed to completing this.
"It is a nice old building everyone wanted us to keep but we will have to spend more time getting it right.
"Even a month ago there was a new issue around structural reinforcement, which has knocked our project on a few more weeks."