The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has announced plans to build a pioneering new research facility to test and develop devices that could change the lives of disabled people.
The new facility will enable experts to develop technologies to help people with spinal injuries, as well as the elderly and infirm.
The Stanmore hospital has included the £25million project in plans for a wider £250million redevelopment, work on which is due to start next year.
Directors at the hospital have teamed up with University College London (UCL) to create the world-leading centre, which they hope will be opened in 2017.
In a joint statement, UCL professors David Lomas and Anthony Finkelstein said: “The fragility of the human body, particularly in the context of an ageing population, means there are an ever-growing number of people who rely on technology to keep their dignity, independence and quality of life.
“Innovation and engagement through the design, prototyping and fabrication of novel medical devices will be at the core of the new facility.
“RNOH Stanmore is an excellent location for this broad and exciting vision. It trains one-third of the UK’s orthopaedic surgeons and this specialised hospital is unrivalled in terms of the musculoskeletal conditions and patient numbers that it treats.
“By partnering with Stanmore we have gained excellent links with surgeons, medical staff and patient communities. We have already established a strong basis of existing projects for world-leading changes and look forward to doing more work that will change lives.”
Planning permission for the huge hospital redevelopment at RNOH was granted by the local authority in 2013.
Final government approval of the business plan has been obtained and once the Treasury and the Department of Health approve the funding models it is anticipated that building work will start by 2015.