The 3Ts Redevelopment is a £485 million programme to replace all the buildings on the front of the main hospital site.
The Stage 1 Building is on the south east quarter of the hospital and is set to open in 2021. This will be the new home for the hospital’s main reception and more than 30 wards and departments.
It will take on all the services from the Barry Building which opened its doors 20 years before Florence Nightingale started nursing, and is the oldest, acute, inpatient ward block in England.
Dame Marianne Griffiths, chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, was joined by guests on the roof of the building for the topping out ceremony, including deputy mayor Cllr Alan Robins and deputy leader of the council Cllr Dan Yates.
Dame Griffiths said: “At the beginning of this year this hospital and its staff were rated as outstanding for care by the Care Quality Commission. This took an incredible amount of work by everyone in the organisation and sprung from putting patients first in everything we do. There is still more work to be done however, and the environment in which we deliver care is of vital importance for patients and staff.
“It has been incredible to see how things have changed on the construction site in the last 12 months. We have witnessed a significant part of the County Hospital’s future, literally growing before our eyes. This impressive building, and the 3Ts Redevelopment as a whole, will give us the kind of care environment around which our future as a major, acute, teaching hospital trust can be built.”
As part of the ceremony Dolores Glover, who has worked at the Royal Sussex County Hospital for more than 40 years, placed a piece of yew wood into the concrete. This centuries old tradition of including yew in the framework is believed to bring good luck to a building and its occupants.
The entire 3Ts development project is running in three stages and will be complete in 2025. This is to ensure the hospital and all its clinical services can continue to run throughout the works.
The Stage 2 Building will take up the south west quarter of the site. Together Stage 1 and Stage 2 will replace thirteen existing buildings.
The third stage will be a new delivery and service area to improve site management and logistics.