A new hospital building has been given an opening date more than a decade after plans for the development were approved.

The Louisa Martindale building at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton will open for patients in April after first being approved in 2012.

The building will replace one of the oldest buildings in use in the NHS, the 19th century Barry building, with more than 14,000 pieces of new equipment.

Dr Peter Larsen-Disney, clinical director at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Louisa Martindale Building provides us with wonderful new facilities, but more importantly we have benefited from unique opportunities to modernise how we provide care and work together for our patients.

The Argus: The Louisa Martindale building taken from the seaThe Louisa Martindale building taken from the sea (Image: University Hospital Sussex NHS Foundation Trust)

“Our clinical leadership teams have strived to ensure we’ve maximised new opportunities that a larger environment has created.”

Get more great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day by signing up to our morning newsletter - don't miss out!

Outpatient appointments at the new building will begin on April 11 as part of a phased opening of the building across the month.

The 11-storey building will be home to a new critical care unit as well as neuroscience services.

Following the full opening of the building, work will begin on the next stage of the process to demolish the Barry building to make room for a new dedicated cancer treatment centre.

Brighton and Hove City Council Leader Phelim Mac Cafferty, who visited the building earlier this month, said: “The Louisa Martindale Building is a hugely impressive new asset for our city that will improve both care and the experience of visiting hospital for all our residents.

The Argus: The Louisa Martindale building from aboveThe Louisa Martindale building from above (Image: University Hospital Sussex NHS Foundation Trust)

“The new building is light, easy to get around, with art, planting and sea views to aid patient recovery. Along with a raft of new equipment, these will make it a better place for patients to recuperate and for staff to work.

“In 2012, I had the privilege of chairing the planning committee that provided unanimous consent for this redevelopment.

"To see the fulfilment of these plans, the quality of work and materials used with the new building marks a new chapter for health in Brighton and Hove.”

The new £438 million development has been named after Louisa Martindale, who was the city’s first female GP and began practicing in 1906.