Leeds new hospitals – a personal journey for site foreman Mark
27 May 2021
Building site foreman Mark Neave couldn’t wait to be involved in the development of a new children’s hospital in Leeds following the care given during the birth of his own children in the Clarendon Wing at Leeds General Infirmary.
He’ll never forget how hospital staff supported him and his wife after the stillbirth of their second child and the premature birth of their son Kobi.
Now Mark, 48, works for demolition contractor DSM, and is overseeing the preparation of the Leeds General Infirmary site in readiness for the development of a new state-of-the-art hospital for adults, and a new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital due to be completed in 2025.
For Mark, of Pudsey, Leeds, the new hospitals have a special meaning, and he is delighted to have an involvement in their development.
“It is so nice to know that there is going to be a brand-new children’s hospital here in Leeds that gives parents and grandparents confidence that if their children are poorly there are magnificent new facilities on their doorstep,” he said.
“When I heard about the opportunity to work on this project I wanted to be involved because this hospital means something special to me.”
His children were all born in the Clarendon Wing at Leeds General Infirmary – with his eldest, daughter Taylor, now aged 23, due to get married next year.
Mark, and his now ex-wife Sarah, then had to deal with the distress of having a stillborn baby in 2007, and a year later having their son Kobi born nine weeks premature weighing just four pounds.
“The support and care we got from the hospital was unbelievable,” said Mark. “The new hospitals will have all the new technology and it is such a confidence boost for the people of Leeds to know these facilities are going to be there.”
Daughter Taylor works with autistic children in Leeds, while Kobi, who is now 12, attends Pudsey Grangefield School.
Mark shared his story with the Countess of Wessex, patron of Leeds Children’s Hospital, when she recently made a virtual visit to the hospital to hear about the new development plans.
The Leeds hospital development will be one of the most significant in the UK and will cover more than 94,000 square metres at Leeds General Infirmary. Initial funding of £600 million for the project has been confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the new hospitals are expected to be completed in 2025.
The new development site will also release surplus estate at Leeds General Infirmary to support a new Innovation District in the centre of Leeds, bringing huge economic benefits for the city and wider region estimated at up to £11.2bn in net present value terms – and more than 3,000 jobs..