One of Europe’s biggest hospitals specialising in ear, nose and throat conditions and dental surgery has opened in London.
The £100 million Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals will offer more than 200,000 appointments a year and focus on pioneering research.
This includes clinical trials to restore sudden hearing loss and immunotherapy to treat patients with life-threatening allergies. One of the nine floors will be dedicated to children requiring complex treatment.
An increasing number of children require multiple tooth extractions due to chronic levels of tooth decay caused by bad diet. Ceiling art has been installed to help distract them while undergoing dental surgery.
A “surgical zone” has been built in the basement to enable ENT and dental patients to undergo procedures without having to be sent to a conventional operating theatre.
The hospitals are on a single site in Huntley Street, Bloomsbury, having previously occupied separate sites in Gray’s Inn Road. Both are part of University College London Hospitals NHS trust.
Professor Marcel Levi, UCLH chief executive, said: “With the latest technology, new dental chairs and imaging equipment, the hospital shows the NHS at its very best.”
Theatres, wards, sleep diagnostics and allergy daycare services will remain at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital until next year.
The Eastman’s former site has received conditional planning permission to become the £281 million home to University College London’s neuroscience department.
Sean Hanrahan, 52, from High Barnet, has been treated by the ENT allergy service for five years for a wasp allergy. He only discovered his condition when he went into anaphylactic shock after being stung.
“By the time I got to [my local A&E], everything was swollen and I could barely breathe,” he said.
He attends clinic every six weeks to receive injections of wasp venom. This has been increased to the equivalent of two or three stings to reduce his risk from future stings.