Cranes in operation above a construction site

New leadership appointment for NHS hospital construction programme

The Government’s pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 has received a significant boost following the appointment of a new lead: Natalie Forrest, previously Chief Executive of Chase Farm Hospital.

Bringing a wealth of health, construction and project management experience to the role, Ms Forrest will oversee the Government’s plans to build the new hospitals, as part of the largest hospital-building project in a generation.

A registered nurse and with over 30 years of experience working in the NHS, Ms Forrest most recently led the construction and operationalisation of NHS Nightingale London, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This was alongside her role as Chief Executive at Chase Farm Hospital in North London, where she led operational and clinical teams to design an innovative new hospital, delivered on time, on budget and without interruption to existing services.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I’m delighted to appoint Natalie into this role. She not only brings unrivalled experience in health management and nursing, but also the construction and project management knowledge that helped turn the Excel conference centre into a Nightingale Hospital in just 9 days, as well as overseeing the rebuild of Chase Farm Hospital at pace.

“The New Hospital Programme – as part of our Health Infrastructure Plan – will transform the delivery of NHS healthcare infrastructure to build back better and will ensure our country has world-class healthcare facilities right across the country for decades to come.”

Speaking of her new appointment as Senior Responsible Officer of the New Hospital Programme, Ms Forrest added: “I am determined to build trust in our national capability in planning and delivering hospitals, not just with health and construction stakeholders but with the staff and patients who will benefit from them on a daily basis.

“My goal will be to deliver these new hospitals cost-effectively and at speed, and to foster an ecosystem that owns, learns from and improves healthcare design.”

In total, 48 hospitals will be built by 2030 under the Government’s ambitious plans, with £3.7bn in funding committed so far.

In the North East of England, one of these schemes has just received final approval over the upgrading of mental health facilities in the region. Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust’s new £72.6m facilities – which are set to be finalised by 2023 – will improve the quality of mental health and learning disability services in the regions by combining innovative design with a holistic approach to patient care and safety.

Final approval has also been secured on a new £67.4m hospital building at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in the North West too. Construction is set to begin on the building soon, which once complete will be home to a major trauma centre treating patients who have experienced life-changing or life-threatening injuries – for example, following a serious road traffic accident or fall.

NHE July/August 21

NHE July/August 21

Prioritising staff wellbeing

NHE’s July/August 2021 edition focuses on some of the key, defining aspects of a successful, supported health service: Mental Health & Workforce. Elsewhere, we take on the incredibly topical Infection Prevention and address the role which Pharma will play in both our NHS and wider health environment.


View all videos
National Health Executive Presents

National Health Executive Presents

NHE365 Virtual Festival: Net-Zero NHS

As was outlined by Sir Simon Stevens when the NHS announced their green plans back in 2020, 5,700 lives could be saved each year by improved air quality. Even more could see their overall health improve and be in a position to self-manage their conditions, rather than requiring NHS treatment. Covid-19 has already left the NHS with a sizeable treatment backlog, so anything which can be done to improve patient health and reduce demand is beneficial for all.

Working together, we can help the NHS realise its green ambitions as per the Net-Zero National Health Service report and its ambitious 2040 target. Join us on August 25, 2021 for our Net-Zero NHS event, where we will be joined by health sector leaders and innovators for a day of sharing best practice and networking.

Finger on the Pulse

Ep 14. Health messaging is a science, Professor Craig Jackson

On Episode 14 of NHE's Finger on the Pulse podcast, we're joined by Professor Craig Jackson, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology
Birmingham City University to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the health messaging around it and how those in power have missed a trick by overlooking the key role of psychology in informing the public of restrictions, measures and the ever-changing situation

More articles...

View all