Work started on a new £50m Birmingham Dental Hospital & School of Dentistry in October 2013. 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 development by Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, the University of Birmingham and Birmingham, Solihull LIFT (BaS LIFT) and Calthorpe Estates, was granted detailed planning permission in December 2012 for the site, which is the former home of BBC Pebble Mill studios.
The development is seen as highly strategic for the city, being 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 will by the new home for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences’ School of Dentistry, and will also house a range of services for the public including walk-in emergency dental care, Restorative, Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Orthodontics and Paediatric Dentistry.
All dental services accessed by the public will be 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.
A computer-generated fly through can be viewed below.
The building will open to staff, students and the public in time for the beginning of the 2015 autumn term and will replace the existing dental hospital and school at St Chad’s Circus in the city centre which is more than 50 years old. Students will be better located for the main Edgbaston campus and medical school, allowing for improved integration of facilities.
Benefits of the new building
Our students who join us from September next year will go straight 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 progress of the build up to April 2014 below.