Topping out ceremony celebrates milestone achievement for National Rehabilitation Centre

Topping out ceremony celebrates milestone achievement for National Rehabilitation Centre

A significant milestone in the construction of the first NHS National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) was cause for celebration this week for the project partners committed to making the facility a reality.

IHP, a joint venture between VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine, hosted the formal ‘Topping Out Ceremony’ at the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate near Loughborough yesterday afternoon.

The event began with a piper leading guests onto the roof of the brand-new three-storey NRC, before key individuals were invited to cement their involvement in the programme by signing their names in concrete.

Topping out is a common tradition within the construction sector, which marks a building reaching its highest level. For the NRC, this also means the completion of the building’s frame, symbolising another important milestone in the journey of this pioneering rehabilitation centre.

The £105million NRC programme is building a 70-bed, state-of-the-art and highly energy efficient new facility, run by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme. Research, innovation and training will be led by academic partners Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham.

The NRC is due to open in 2025 and aims to transform clinical treatment for patients in the East Midlands, and set a new standard for research and innovation, and education and training in rehabilitation for the whole of the UK.

The celebration was attended by key stakeholders including Sir Andrew McAlpine – partner at Sir Robert McAlpine on behalf of IHP, the Black Stork Charity, University of Nottingham, Loughborough University, and the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, located on the same estate.

Following the formalities, guests from the wide range of organisations enjoyed refreshments – courtesy of IHP – in the spring sunshine.

Miriam Duffy, NRC Director, said:

“We began this journey almost eight years ago in 2016, and so today’s milestone is testament to the teamwork and perseverance that have brought us to this point, which is another step towards opening our doors to patients in need of rehabilitation.

“The NRC will not only serve as a centre rehabilitation excellence, but also as a symbol of hope for countless individuals and families across the country. We look forward to welcoming patients next year so we can help them start their own journey towards a better future with as much independence as possible.”

Nick Carver, Chairman of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“I continue to be proud that NUH has been chosen to develop and run the UK’s first dedicated NHS rehabilitation centre, and it’s inspiring to see it taking shape here in the beautiful countryside.

“I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved in this project to date – without whom we wouldn’t be able to mark this milestone. This celebration is really the culmination of months of hard work, dedication and collaboration of a huge range of partners and organisations.” 

General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman, DNRC Programme Director, said:

“The DNRC Programme has always been about improving the way we do clinical rehabilitation in this country.  It is about ‘repairing’ more people after serious injury or illness, about creating better outcomes and, where possible, returning people to life and work. 

“From the outset in 2010, this is what the late 6th Duke of Westminster, with the ongoing support of the Grosvenor family, set out to achieve.  The NRC, as the national hub, is the first vital step on the national rehabilitation journey.”

Mark Bessey, Sector Director, IHP, said:

“This topping out ceremony provides an opportunity to celebrate the exemplary collaboration and the technical excellence of the project team.

“IHP is proud to be working with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust on delivering this flagship facility for the New Hospital Programme. The NRC sets new standards in terms of healthcare innovation and sustainability, providing world class rehabilitation for patients and outstanding facilities for ongoing research and development.” 

National property and construction consultancy EDGE is providing project management and NEC supervision services for the delivery of the NRC scheme, with key project team members joining the event to mark the occasion.

Joanne Hardwicke, Project Manager and Associate Director at EDGE, said:

“We’re really pleased to see such an important milestone being reached on the NRC scheme this week, and it was excellent to come together with our delivery partners to celebrate the progress being made on site.

“EDGE is delighted to play its part in bringing together patient care, research, training and education under one roof through this high-quality bespoke treatment facility to positively contribute to patient wellbeing.”

Pip Logan, Professor of Rehabilitation Research and Occupational Therapist at the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, said:

“The University of Nottingham’s partnership with the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC) represents an essential part of our commitment to uplifting – through our world-leading experience in rehabilitation research and education – the health of the people in our region and across the UK. 

“It’s a pleasure to celebrate this great milestone in construction of the NRC and we look forward to utilising this fantastic new integrated facility. 

“Embedding our training courses in rehabilitation, alongside our research in robotics, physiology, mental health, rehab technology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, rehab medicine and rehab nursing, with patients, families, clinical professionals, and industry is vital for our institution and for developing world-class rehabilitation patient services.”

Professor Mark Lewis, Loughborough University’s NRC lead and Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, said:

“It is fantastic to see the progress being made on the construction of the National Rehabilitation Centre.

“Loughborough University is proud to be a core partner for this state-of-the-art facility. We look forward to using our expert knowledge in research and innovation to help transform treatment and outcomes for patients, and to developing education and training programmes in rehabilitation that are truly world leading.” Recently, a timelapse of the first six months of the build and drone footage were released to give the public an insight into the ongoing development of the project.

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