Our trust values
University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Plans to create an innovative medical research facility at Wessex Fields pass key milestone

Wessex Fields aerial Proposals for a leading-edge medical research facility at Wessex Fields have been approved by BCP Council’s cabinet.

Following detailed conversations with key stakeholders and partners, agreement has been reached for BCP Council to work in partnership with the University Hospitals Dorset and Bournemouth University on plans to bring forward a high tech, “Living Lab” science park, facilitated by the sale of part of the site to the local hospital Trust.

University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust is now able to progress with its plans for their future facility, which will transform the area and bring new education, employment and investment opportunities to the conurbation. This will be a springboard to the development of the rest of the site in partnership with the Council.

This decision will fulfil the council’s commitment to delivering the key themes for Wessex Fields supported by residents.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Economy, said:

“Having been involved in the project from the very beginning, I’m extremely pleased that one of the first key decisions of this administration is to finally bring this exciting scheme to this key milestone. This is the start of a game changing, high tech future for Wessex Fields.

“A collaboration with the growing hospital Trust and one of our fantastic universities for the provision of a cutting edge med-tech science park is exactly what we had originally envisioned. I cannot overstate the huge benefits for the community that this decision will realise, expanding opportunities to create jobs in the local area, inviting further investment and unlocking congestion.

“For too long here we’ve had a road to nowhere. With the approval of these plans, we are confidently on the road to somewhere exciting.”

Commenting on the decision, Debbie Fleming, Chief Executive, University Hospitals Dorset, said:

“For health and care services to be truly integrated around individuals’ needs, we recognise that the links with research and innovation are an important aspect of overall wellbeing, that’s why we are delighted that this much-needed development is going ahead.

“As well as being a real boost to facilities in Dorset, the Wessex Fields development is a great example of partnership working across the NHS and local council services to meet the needs of our communities.

“We are very grateful for the valuable support received so far to ensure that our plans meet the future needs of our patients and the communities we serve.”

In addition to the new med-tech facility, the council may now also proceed with its collaborative approach to developing the remaining land along mixed-use themes. This will include the provision of onsite key worker housing to reduce impact on the local transport network, and assist the hospital, and green spaces to promote wellbeing and wildlife habitats.

Films spotlight the ‘bright future’ for both Poole and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital

Dr Isabel Smith small


Two innovative video animation films have been released providing more information on the major construction projects at University Hospitals Dorset.

The films have been narrated by Dr Isabel Smith, consultant anaesthetist and medical director for strategy and transformation at University Hospitals Dorset and give an insight into the development of Poole Hospital’s new theatres complex and the development of the new Maternity, Children’s, Emergency and Critical Care Unit at Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Both projects are part of the reorganisation of NHS services across Dorset which will see Poole Hospital become the main centre for planned treatment in east Dorset, whilst at the same time the Royal Bournemouth Hospital becoming the centre for emergency care.

Commenting on the films, Debbie Fleming, chief executive said,

“We hope these animations provide an easy reference guide on the major construction work about to begin across our hospital sites.

“Our clinicians have been at the forefront in developing these plans, and we are delighted to introduce Dr Isabel Smith, our medical director for strategy and transformation, who explains these changes so clearly.

“We are ready to build a future that will provide better services and deliver improved outcomes for the thousands of patients that we care for, as we unleash the ambitions of our incredible teams.”

Dr Isabel Smith, consultant anaesthetist and medical director for strategy and transformation, added,

“I hope these videos highlight the bright future for both Poole and the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. 

“However, the investment is not just in buildings, it will be an investment in the future quality of care our organisation can offer to the patients of Dorset and beyond."

The total programme of works will run up to 2026 and forms part of the £250m investment in University Hospitals Dorset.

To view the videos, visit the front page of the hospital’s You Tube site or the ‘Investing in our hospitals’ updates section on the UHD website.




Milestone for breast screening unit


Poole Hospital's Dorset Breast Screening Unit has donated over one tonne of bras to help fund vital breast cancer research.

Dorset Breast Screening Unit (DBSU) established itself as a bra bank in 2016 working together with Against Breast Cancer, a charity funding research into secondary spread breast cancer, which is the main cause of breast cancer related deaths.

Cheryl Williams, lead trainer and senior radiographer in DBSU, decided to set up the bra bank.

"The idea to start the bra bank came after I met a lady who was collecting bras to send to Africa.

"This got me thinking about the possibility of doing something similar in DBSU that would help charity," said Cheryl.

The bras are collected from the unit by a local recycling company who weigh them. When one tonne is reached, the recycling company informs the charity and donates £700. This funding is used in pioneering breast cancer research through innovative projects and research fellowships.

Allie Wilson, recycling and customer service manager at Against Breast Cancer, said: "We are extremely grateful to DBSU who, with dedication and hard work, has collected a massive one tonne of bras over the past six years."

"There are around 9,000 bras in a tonne which is a huge amount to have collected and donated."

The charity is currently funding two research fellows at Oxford University. Previous grants have been given to the University of Sheffield and St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, along with five and 10-year funding commitments at Oriel College Oxford and the University of Southampton.

In addition to providing research funding, the recycled bras also help support small businesses in Africa. This is achieved through the recycling company operating a textile recovery project which aims to reduce the number of bras going to landfill.

The bras are sent to Ghana, Togo and Kenya where the cost of producing them is high. Bras that can be used are, and those beyond redemption are deconstructed with these parts being used to support local businesses in these countries.

Lisa Bisset, director of DBSU, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be able to be a part of this initiative and reach this significant milestone. Patients have been really generous in their donations which will benefit cancer research. I would like to personally thank all those involved."

"Looking ahead we hope to continue to reach milestones to support research."

An update from the Poole Africa Link

Unfortunately, due to current travel restrictions, Poole Africa Link has been unable to send teams to our partner hospital in Lira, Uganda to undertake teaching.

In place of this, we have been actively raising funds to purchase PPE of which several shipments have already been made to Lira.

With help from Poole Hospital's estates department and charity Medical Aid International, we have been able to arrange collection of various items of hospital equipment for use in Ghana in the New Year.

The equipment includes trollies which can no longer be used in the NHS. Nemo and his mates were smuggled in as useful packing material!

IMG 0339  PAL1


Celebrating Christmas safely in our hospitals

Due to Covid-19, visiting is currently restricted in our hospitals. Read more here.


It goes without saying that this has been a year like no other, and sadly Covid is going to affect how we are able to celebrate Christmas in our hospitals.

Things will look a little different this year.

While Christmas trees will still be on show at our Bournemouth, Poole, and Christchurch hospitals, they will not be found in ward areas.

Decorations will unfortunately not be displayed in clinical and non-clinical areas, or communal areas such as our restaurants, atriums, and reception areas, but local exceptions will be made for children’s and long stay areas, with the help of our infection prevention control team.

Regrettably, we do not have the capacity to safely store gifts from patients and their families, so we have asked that for this year, if you would like to make a donation to our hospitals, please visit our charity pages; www.poolehospitalcharity.co.uk and www.bhcharity.org, where you can find out how to make a donation .

Our charities will be funding for presents so that every patient in our hospitals on Christmas Day will receive a little festive treat, and our fundraising teams are currently running a number of online events, including Poole Hospital's Elf Service and Virtual Elf Dash, and Bournemouth Hospital's Reindeer Run.

Additionally, if you can spare any money to support Macmillan Caring Locally Christmas Appeal, which is raising funds for palliative care patients at Christchurch Hospital’s Mac Unit, it would be gratefully received. And if you would like to support Forest Holme Hospice, you can find out more about their Christmas pop-up shop here. 

To keep up to date with our latest news and festive posts on our social media, visit our Twitter and Facebook pages. And if you would like to send a video message or photo of goodwill and thanks to our colleagues, we would love to feature it in our wellbeing advent calendar. Either tag us @UHD_NHS in your tweet uding the hash tag #TisTheSeasonToCare, or drop us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This is a Christmas like no other, in what has been an unprecedented year, and we hope you can understand our reasons for celebrating the festive season as safely as possible for the benefit of our staff, patients, and visitors.

Thank you for your continued support.


xmas image for web article



Back to top of page