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A new world-class centre for neurological research and treatments will bring together clinicians and research teams from different disciplines to tackle the neurodegenerative conditions that give rise to dementia, now the leading cause of death in England and Wales.
Around 850,000 people in the UK have dementia and the number of people affected will continue to grow as the population ages.
The new research facility will be home to:
- the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology (IoN);
- the national headquarters of the UKDRI, along with its researchers already based at UCL; and
- the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery’s (NHNN’s) NHS outpatient and imaging suites.
The ‘dual hub’ will be based across two locations:
- a new, purpose-built development on the site of the Eastman Dental Hospital (EDH) and UCL Eastman Dental Institute (EDI) on Gray’s Inn Road; and
- the IoN’s existing home in nearby Queen Square, part of which will be modified and refurbished in connection with developing the dual hub.
How will the site of the Eastman Dental Hospital and Eastman Dental Institute be used?
The planned development would retain and restore the historic Alexandra Wing of the EDH and replace the remainder of the building. This will allow a new building to accommodate the new medical research facility, incorporating the UK DRI hub and the IoN.
UCLH NHS Foundation Trust is committed to including NHS services as part of the development.
The Grade-II listed EDH would be retained and reused for academic space. The modern extensions will be removed and the historic building will be refurbished, creating a handsome landmark on Gray’s Inn Road. The Levy Wing building to the rear of the EDH would also be replaced with purpose-built academic space.
What is happening to the Eastman Dental Hospital and Eastman Dental Institute?
The EDH will be permanently relocated to a new purpose-built University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) facility at Huntley Street. The research function of the EDI will move to the Royal Free Hospital, while its clinic, teaching and training will relocate to UCL’s Rockefeller Building.
What is being built on the site of the Eastman Dental Hospital?
A new modern research facility for the IoN and UK DRI is planned to be built behind the existing Alexandra wing façade on the site of the EDH.
The new building will introduce a different way of working, with central, shared equipment for the different research teams, and shared services. This will include reconfigurable laboratory space where researchers and clinicians studying neurological diseases can collaborate to develop new treatments for – and make links between – neurological illnesses. A shared service model will deliver centralised services to all laboratories.
The plans also incorporate a sensory garden, new public square and publicly accessible green spaces, which will incorporate hard and soft landscaping. The aim is to create a calm environment for patients, visitors, workers and local residents to enjoy.
The intention is to develop a new east-west pedestrian route through the site from Gray’s Inn Road towards King’s Cross Road by creating a series interlinked routes, with the possibility of other local connections.
An open day to share the plans with and seek feedback from the Dual Hub’s future occupants was held in December 2018 and an event for the general public is planned for February 2019.