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The New Karolinska Sola Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden


  • The largest single site hospital development in Europe; at a cost of €1.4 billion
  • The new hospital replaces the former ‘Karolinska’ on the same site
  • The new project responds to the introduction of new healthcare models based on whole systems integrated care principles (care pathways) by the County Council. It is designed to accommodate significant changes in the demographic and epidemiological profiles and consequent needs of the population
  • Service redesign has stimulated a merger with other hospitals in Stockholm resulting in overall reductions in bed numbers – there will be significant reorganisation of work processes and location of services, including more care in community settings
  • This has been facilitated by a clearer purchaser / provider division; allowing Stockholm County Council to focus on commissioning with Karolinska having greater control and incentives to develop innovative service delivery systems and processes
  • A key aim of the concept is to consolidate Karolinska’s position among the top three clinical, academic and research centres in the world.
  • Innovative design was stimulated through a two stage competition process with an emphasis on providing a high quality clinical and research environment and provision for future growth and adaptability
  • The financing will be via a design, build, finance and operate model (DBFO) – similar to the UK NHS Private Finance Initiative (PFI). All clinical and care services remain under direct hospital ownership and control
  • The project is also distinctive because of its pivotal position in the urban regeneration of the Nora Station area of Stockholm. The new project will complement significant investment in local housing and commercial development. By strengthening Karolinska’s position in global clinical research and teaching it is anticipated the hospital will contribute in significant terms to health related economic growth.




  • A strong vision which promotes new service models and delivery systems which in turn stimulates an innovative hospital concept with an emphasis on future proofing
  • It is a whole systems project that integrates high quality patient care, research and teaching innovation and investment and large scale urban regeneration




  • The financing model (based on the PFI principle) has its detractors, with some doubts about its track record; may be vulnerable to the current credit crisis and recessionary impact. The UK, the leading protagonist of PFI, has recently signalled it is abandoning this type of financing model. 


Sructural Fund relevance – very high


  • For countries/regions contemplating hospital teaching and research investment it represents a very strong and relevant exemplar 
  • The contribution to urban and economic regeneration is also distinctive and is a transferable model 
  • It matches other leading case studies as being a stimulant (and a product) of the shift towards whole systems models of service design and care delivery 



Download the detailed description of the case study from here.

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