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Hub of research and training gets multi-million pound refurbishment

Significant building works to improve education facilities at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (ROH) have been completed.

The Knowledge Hub is the home of research, development, teaching and training at the specialist trust, and was first opened in 1984 as the Research and Teaching Centre. It was rebranded as the Knowledge Hub in 2016, and currently houses a lecture theatre, library, seminar room, foyer and a number of offices.

In recent years, new business developments, a partnership with Aston Medical School and better utilisation of the hub for learning and wellbeing events have created a significant increase in the use of the hub, therefore additional capacity was essential for the Trust to continue in delivering its strategy to be ‘First Choice for Orthopaedic Care’.

The Trust is investing to ensure staff have more space, better quality facilities and that it is 'Aston ready' to meet the new crop of medical students from Aston University, who will attend the hospital for the first time in September 2020.

The redevelopment, which was approved in 2019, includes the introduction of a designated mezzanine floor for the students, creating more multi-use space.

It was unveiled in a ‘virtual ceremony’ live on Facebook, where speakers included Chief Executive Jo Williams, alongside consultants and those involved in clinical education.

This redevelopment is another significant investment in the hospital estate, following the construction of a brand-new laboratory facility on-site, The Dubrowsky Regenerative Medicine Laboratory, which was made possible by a generous legacy by a former patient.

Director of Strategy, Estates & Planning, Professor Phillip Begg, said: “This culminates many years of hard work. Education is at the heart of everything we do in the NHS and the team here at the ROH live and breathe this every day.

“The redevelopment of this building is our statement and our commitment towards education. It takes vision, planning and a great deal of hard work and I am thrilled to be able to officially open it.”

Chief Executive Jo Williams added: “We are a highly regarded teaching hospital and we have always had aspirations for our facilities to match the high quality of our training. I hope the students will take pride in their new accommodation and the facilities will continue to thrive to inspire a generation to continue our passion of innovating and growing our future workforce.”

Training the healthcare work force of the future

Working in partnership with the University of Birmingham, each year up to 480 fourth-year medical students complete a two-week musculoskeletal placement at the ROH. 

The purpose-built lecture theatre has tiered seating for 120 delegates and has been designed to allow maximum visibility and comfort.

The seminar room, for smaller groups, has a seating capacity of 25. It is equipped with standard audio-visual aids, including a plasma screen with computer and video connections. The foyer can be used separately or in conjunction with the lecture theatre and seminar room for clinical meetings. It provides ample space for exhibition stands, displays, workshops and demonstrations.

The Birmingham Orthopaedic Teaching Programme (BOTP), hosted by the hospital, is one of the largest and most successful orthopaedic training programmes in the UK and comprises of 40 trainees rotating through 12 hospitals across the West Midlands, all of which are committed to training.

The ROH hosts weekly teaching sessions, with 12 registrars rotationally working and learning with the Trust whilst delivering great patient experience and outcomes.

During their rotational placements from the West Midlands Deanery, nine GP trainees support the Trust in providing high standards of patient care, while receiving weekly musculoskeletal and orthopaedic training and teaching.

The library at the ROH is part of a consortium of West Midlands NHS libraries, known collectively as Base-Library. Membership is open to all Trust staff, students on placement (for the duration of their placement), those on the BOTP, as well as Trust council members and volunteers. Patients and members of the public can also use the library.

Knowledge Hub entrance

The Welcome Lobby

A larger, open reception area will be the main access to all the venues in the Hub. It will provide an area to meet and greet visitors with refreshments available.

Knowledge Hub tables 2

The Hub Foyer

A refurbished open plan multi-use area, for one-to-one and small group meeting. Staff will be able to work on their personal devices, read, relax, enjoy lunch and undertake wellbeing activities.


The New Medical Student Mezzanine

A teaching and common room area dedicated for the medical students from the University of Birmingham and Aston University. This space will be utilised purely for their lectures and teaching sessions, simulated patient clinics and for them to study and relax during break periods.

Knowledge Hub chairs and crest

The Harrison Lecture Theatre

Since March 2019, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Charitable Fund has been fundraising via the ‘When is a Chair More Than a Chair?’ appeal, offering sponsorship of a chair in the Max Harrison Lecture Theatre to enable the refurbishment of the space. Each sponsored chair bears a plaque with the name of the sponsor, along with an optional message. The new-look lecture theatre also includes new seating, carpets and lighting to create an enhanced learning environment.

The ROH Charitable Fund would like to say a huge thank you to those who have generously donated through the Knowledge Hub Redevelopment Appeal. The appeal is still running in order to continue to support the healthcare professionals of our future.
Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

We look forward to offering short tours of the Knowledge Hub in the coming months, in line with social distancing guidance.

You can watch a virtual tour of the new facilities here.