The £85m Central Middlesex Hospital in London has been officially opened by the Prince of Wales.
The site in Park Royal became fully operational this year after treating its first patient in spring 2006.
The Private Finance Initiative-funded hospital has been designed so the Accident and Emergency, Intensive Treatment Unit, coronary care and acute wards are within two minutes of each other.
It is also smaller than similar facilities which serve populations of the same size because much of its healthcare services are provided in the community.
Prince Charles was also given a silver-plated alcohol gel dispenser as he paid tribute to its staff, describing the “enormous contribution” they make to the NHS.
Hospital chief executive Fiona Wise said: “I think this hospital is a model for the future because it’s a local hospital that serves the local people and is designed to minimise the patient’s journey.
“It was built to address the needs of the population and help the staff working here be more efficient.”
She also said the dispenser gift was her idea, adding: “I think it’s appropriate to raise the awareness of washing hands and giving something like that to the second highest profile person in the country says nobody is excused from washing their hands.”
Copyright © PA Business 2008