Press release issued 14 October 2009On Monday [October 12], the Princess Royal officially opened the new Bristol Heart Institute (BHI) Medical Centre. The £61 million, state-of-the-art Department of Health funded regional cardiothoracic centre has been taking in patients since May this year.
Her Royal Highness was greeted in the Institute’s galleried atrium by the Trust’s Chair John Savage CBE, Chief Executive Dr Graham Rich, and Dr Peter Wilde, Head of the Division of Specialised Services. She was given a tour of the new building where she met and chatted with staff and patients.
Princess Anne also met with Graham Rich, the UHBristol chief executive, and other members of the board of trustees, plus representatives from Department of Health, NHS and local government, and the University of Bristol, before unveiling a plaque commemorating her visit and the official opening of the new BHI medical centre.
Professor Julian Paton, Chair of the Bristol Heart Institute Steering Group, said: "This hospital brings about a change in culture permitting collaboration between the University Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Bristol where for the first time research can go hand in hand with patient care. It gives us an unprecedented opportunity to really push cardiovascular science from bench to bedside."
John Savage, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust's Board of Governors, said: "We are delighted and honoured that the Princess Royal is to open our flagship building. The Bristol Heart Institute is the largest construction project we have undertaken since the early 1970s. It brings together the very best in ground breaking research, innovative treatment, gifted and skilled staff in a building designed to aid the healing process."
Dr Peter Wilde said: "The BHI is a centre of excellence and I am delighted that Her Royal Highness is able to come to Bristol and meet many of our dedicated staff. We will show her innovative and world-leading treatments, some developed in our own research facilities, and she will see first-hand the 21st Century care we provide to patients in this state-of-the -art facility."
The new Bristol Heart Institute Medical Centre opened its doors to patients in May 2009. Funded by the Department of Health, this state-of-the-art £60-million centre unites cardiology and cardiac surgery as well as cardiac imaging and research. The centre is part of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust working in partnership with the University of Bristol.
Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
The Bristol Heart Institute is made up of over 200 researchers and clinicians, from eight different departments in the University of Bristol, spanning three faculties, and from associated Bristol NHS Trusts. Research income is generated from grants, with the British Heart Foundation being our main funder.
As well as improving collaboration between scientists and clinicians within the Institute, the aim is to communicate research findings to the public.
HRH Princess Anne with Dr Peter Wilde, UH Bristol, Head of the Division of Specialised Services
It gives us an unprecedented opportunity to really push cardiovascular science from bench to bedside.