Work is complete on a new £50m Birmingham Dental Hospital & School of Dentistry which will open to students after the Easter break. The hospital and school, at Pebble Mill, just a mile from the central campus, is the first integrated, stand-alone dental hospital and dental school to be built in the UK for almost 40 years.
The landmark building has been developed by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, the University of Birmingham and Birmingham, Solihull LIFT (BaS LIFT) and Calthorpe Estates.
The development is a key element of the new Edgbaston Medical Quarter and further enhances the city’s reputation as a hub of Medicine, Learning and Life Sciences.
The four-storey dental hospital and school of dentistry is home to the College of Medical and Dental Sciences’ School of Dentistry, and also houses a range of services for the public including unscheduled emergency dental care, restorative dentistry, oral surgery, oral medicine, orthodontics and paediatric dentistry.
All dental services accessed by the public are in one wing of the building with a second wing providing world-class research facilities and a modern learning environment for more than 600 undergraduate and postgraduate students and trainees.
The building has replaced the old dental hospital and school at St Chad’s Circus in the city centre which was more than 50 years old. Students are better located for the main Edgbaston campus and medical school, allowing for improved integration of facilities.
Her Majesty The Queen visited the building in November 2015 to perform a launch ceremony.
Benefits of the new building
Our students will go into the new facility for all of their clinical skills work. They will benefit from world class teaching facilities at the new building, where the larger wing will focus on clinical teaching and service, whilst education and research will take place in the second, smaller wing.
But the physical new building is not the only change taking place, with the integration of community dental and hospital services also underway, which should also bring innumerable benefits to students and researchers. This integration will allow for the already world-class research which is carried out at Birmingham to be strengthened, with an increase in clinical trial activity to aid understanding of risk factors which underpin oral and dental disease.
The new building will also incorporate the latest thinking, optimum building design, and of course, state-of-the-art facilities. Modernisation on the scale of this building would simply not be possible were the School and Hospital to remain in its current home.
Flexibility is key to the design of the new building – with the integration of the services comes a need for adaptability, for staff to be able to offer the service provision to patients dependent on their needs. Rather than having staff in a series of self-contained units, as the current building does, cut-off physically from one another, the design of the new building will allow staff this physical integration to complement the service amalgamation.
And for students, the new building has one, very large material advantage over the old one, and that is its proximity to main campus. At just over a mile from Pebble Mill to the campus, dentistry students will be able to move easily between clinics, lectures, and social activities at both the Guild of Students, and the brand new sports centre on the Bristol Road, which will open shortly after the new School and Hospital in early 2016.
Photographs of some first year students touring the site with a year to go until the building opens are available here and here.
Watch the building construction below: