The Virtual Annual Bolland Lecture 2020: NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol Panel Discussion

This event has now passed.

Date: 14 October 2020
Venue: Online Event
Time: 18:30-20:00

Responding to a national crisis - building the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol

The Nightingales are part of a nationwide effort to respond to the greatest global health emergency in more than a century. The temporary hospital at the Exhibition and Conference Centre on UWE Bristol's Frenchay campus was vital to help support NHS efforts with the COVID-19 pandemic and support the local community and wider region at an exceptionally challenging time.

NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol was a truly collaborative project across a wide range of organisations and companies. Completed in just 20 days, the build of the 300-bed hospital demonstrated incredible team effort and the speed at which the hospital was been built is testament to the dedication, hard work, and teamwork from UWE Bristol staff, the Army, the NHS and the contractors, Kier. Collaboration was key with all stakeholders uniting and working together, safely, swiftly and with absolute skill and commitment. The agile response from all involved - with teams working 12 hours a day - was central to the construction project being complete in such a short time.

We are delighted to host a panel discussion focusing on the construction of the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol, panel members include:

  • Professor Steve West CBE, Vice-Chancellor, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Marie-Noelle Orzel, Chief Officer, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol
  • Tim Whittlestone, Chief Medical Officer, NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol
  • David Snell, Operations Director, Kier

Discuss this event on Twitter using the hashtag #BristolLectures.


  • 18:25 - Join the talk online
  • 18:30 - 20:00 - Lecture including Q&A

Join the event

We've closed registration for this event, but you can still join by following this link at 18:30.


Professor Steve West CBE

Professor West trained as a Podiatrist and Podiatric Surgeon in London, working in the NHS and private/commercial sector from 1982. He entered academia in 1984 as a lecturer, then senior lecturer, at The Chelsea School of Chiropody and Podiatric Medicine, The London Foot Hospital and Westminster University.

In 1995 he joined UWE Bristol as Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Care and Professor of Health and Social Care. In this post he merged three Colleges of Health into a new faculty, establishing one of the largest Faculties of Health and Social Care in the UK. In 2005 he became Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University, with the planning and resources portfolio. Then in 2006 he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor and was later appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor in August 2007. In May 2008 Professor West took up post as Vice-Chancellor.

In June 2013, Professor West was appointed as the first Chair of the new West of England Academic Health Science Network (WEAHSN). The network is one of 15 across the country that aim to transform health and healthcare by putting innovation at the heart of the NHS. In this role, Professor West brings together a wide range of partners including health commissioners and providers, universities, industry and other stakeholders to improve some of the big and difficult health issues affecting the UK.

You can view Professor West's full biography online.

Marie-Noelle Orzel

Marie-Noelle Orzel is a nurse and ambassador for clinical leadership. She has extensive experience as an Executive Board member of large NHS organisations, including a Foundation Trust and a major University Teaching Trust. She has held chief nurse and chief executive officer positions.

Marie-Noelle has experience across all sectors of the NHS where she has worked for the majority of her career. Working in an executive capacity she has an impressive track record of delivery, both operationally and financially while maintaining clinical quality standards.

She currently works as a non-executive director of a mental health trust and independently in healthcare consultancy. Previously Marie-Noelle worked in a national role as an improvement director for NHS Improvement supporting challenged healthcare organisations.

Marie-Noelle was awarded the OBE for services to the NHS and nursing in 2005 and the QVRM for services to the Reserve Forces in 2013 both in the Queen's birthday honours lists.

Between April and July 2020 Marie-Noelle was the Chief Officer for the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol. Without her leadership and guidance, the hospital would not have been built as quickly as it was or been in a position to care for patients with compassion if needed. Marie-Noelle was also instrumental in leading the arrangements for the standby period and, most importantly, making sure that the hospital is ready to stand up quickly if needed.

Tim Whittlestone

Tim Whittlestone is a Consultant Urologist and has a special interest in infection, cystitis, testicular cancer and kidney cancer. He qualified in 1994 having trained at both Oxford, Cambridge and at the Mayo Clinic.

Since 2002 Tim has worked at the Bristol Royal Infirmary having a specialist interest in management of men with advanced testicular cancer. From 2012 to 2020 Tim was the Clinical Chief of Surgery and Anaesthesia North Bristol NHS Trust. Tim is the Deputy Medical Director at North Bristol NHS Trust with a Transformation and Innovation portfolio and is also the AI and Robotics Lead for North Bristol.

Tim has been a Hunterian Professor of Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons and was a key note speaker at World Summit on AI in Healthcare 'Covid-19 changes the world of AI'.

From conception in February 2020, Tim was appointed the Chief Medical Officer role for the NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol.

David Snell

David Snell joined Kier as a Graduate Engineer in 1980. He progressed through all operational roles (Project Manager, Contracts Manager, Construction Manager) becoming a Director in 1994. He left the business for a 5-year period before being enticed back in 2003.

Having spent virtually all his career in the Devon and Cornwall business, David was asked to take on the role of Operations Director in Bristol in October 2012. This business has grown year on year since then and has delivered many successful projects.

David spends a large proportion of his time working with his preconstruction team to deliver commercially attractive opportunities, using lateral thinking to come up with innovative and creative solutions.

He is a key influencer on major hospital projects procured in the region, successfully negotiating 50m of work at the Royal United Hospital Bath and the redevelopment of Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton which represents 60m of work over the next 4 years. He also led negotiations on the lucrative DIO REME Relocation Programme at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, a 53m JV with Central.

About the Bolland Lecture

The Bolland Lecture was established in 1976 to commemorate Dr Robert Bolland, who held the post of Director of Bristol Polytechnic from its foundation in 1969 to his death in 1974. In 1992 Bristol Polytechnic gained University status, becoming the University of the West of England.

About the Bristol Distinguished Address Series

The Bristol Distinguished Address Series provides a unique opportunity to hear about the challenges, issues and decisions being made at the highest level of strategic leadership.

The series is delivered by the Bristol Business School in partnership with ACCA, Bristol City Council, Bristol Creative Industries, Bristol Junior Chamber, Bristol Law Society, Business West, CBI, CIPD, CIPFA, CMI, FSB, IoD, ICAEW and the West of England Combined Authority.

Event recording

All addresses will be recorded and we will aim to make them available as a video on YouTube one week after the lecture, subject to approval of the speaker and no technical difficulties with the recording. Podcasts from previous series can be viewed on our previous address archive.

Media queries

Please contact the Media Relations office if you have a media query about this event, email


If you have any access requirements, please email the Events Team at or ring us on the number below.

UWE Bristol aims to ensure, as much as possible, that all our public events are fully accessible. Early notice of access requirements is much appreciated.

Cost: Free
Contact: Events Team
Telephone: +44(0)117 32 84517

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