One of the Midlands' topperforming hospitals is to be mothballed when its #553 million replacement opens in 2011/12.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Edgbaston, Birmingham, will be replaced with a new 1,213-bed super-hospital but has been deemed too expensive to demolish. Mark Britnell, chief executive of the University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said the ageing QE, which was officially opened in 1938, would no longer be fit enough to provide clinical care once the super-hospital was completed.
He spoke out ahead of his departure on Friday, as he prepares to take up his new role of chief executive for South Central Strategic Health Authority next month.
"The hospital will be unfit for its clinical purpose but it will not be demolished," said Mr Britnell.
"We know that to demolish the existing QE hospital would cost millions to do, so we're looking at the best way to dispose of it.
"However, the trust has a good relationship with Birmingham University so it is possible that it may be used for research and education in the future, but there are no firm plans as yet."
Consort Healthcare, the trust's partner in the private finance initiative, has also hinted the hospital could be used as student accommodation as well as for the university's medical students.
However, there are plans to raze Selly Oak Hospital - which, like the QE, is run by the trust - once it has been vacated. The sale of the site after demolition could net the trust around #70 million.
Legal contracts for the PFI scheme which is financing the super-hospital were signed earlier this month, but work has been ongoing since spring.