Bridge to enlarge hospital

Portland Hospital bridgeHCA’s London’s Portland Hospital for Women and Children is to build a stunning new bridge linking it to an adjacent building that will allow it to double the size of its specialist children’s hospital.

The iconic bridge will initially enable the opening of three new paediatric floors at 215 Great Portland Street, providing 20 new inpatient beds to make a total of 80 dedicated private paediatric beds. The hospital already has two existing outpatient floors in this building.

This £20m expansion will also provide more extensive paediatric rehabilitation facilities, including therapy suites and the first UK robot-assisted Lokomat walking therapy system for children with cerebral palsy.

The Portland is the UK’s largest provider of private paediatric care and last year its unique team of 120 senior consultant paediatric subspecialists handled over 50,000 paediatric outpatient appointments.

Chief executive Janene Madden said the expansion was driven by increasing UK and international demand: ‘We are delighted to have been granted planning permission for our link bridge. It marks a milestone in the history of The Portland which is the only private hospital of its kind in the UK.

‘This expansion will help to further enhance London’s growing reputation as a world-class centre of excellence for complex medicine.’

She said increasing demand for private paediatric care was outstripping the demand for adults. Over the last four years, paediatric patients had risen 80%. ‘We were in danger of running out of space.’

Women’s services will be exp­anded too. The Portland treats all paediatric medical conditions except cancer and cardiac cases, which are referred to nearby sister hospital The Harley Street Clinic.

It has the most modern diagnostic, treatment and surgical facilities supported by a paediatric intensive care and neonatology unit for babies and children up to the age of 16. Its neonatal and paediatric specialists carry out the most complex surgical procedures and, uniquely, The Portland has its own specialist neuro-rehabilitation unit.

The new bridge was designed by William Matthews, the project lead for Renzo Piano who des­igned The Shard at London Bridge.