News round-up: Construction and design

Read on for our weekly round-up of healthcare construction and design news, including completions, new contract wins, up-coming developments and the deployment of innovative products

Bathing suite provides home from home

A NEW bathing suite for parents has opened on the Special Care Baby Unit at Stafford Hospital. The £12,000 refurbishment includes a large bath, shower, sink, bidet and toilet which will be used by parents staying long term or overnight on the ward with their newborns. Christine Bradshaw, a nurse on the unit, said: “We wanted to create a space that was like a home from home; an area that wasn't like being in a hospital. We really feel this will improve the experience of being a resident on the unit.”

Ealing primary health centre completed

CONSTRUCTION work on the Grand Union Village Primary Health Centre in Ealing has been completed. Commissioned by NHS Ealing and delivered by LIFT partner, Building Better Health, the £6.2m facility is to officially open within the next few weeks. Designed by architects, Penoyre & Prasad, and constructed by Willmott Dixon, the 2,500sq m, five-storey building will serve as a key element of the new Grand Union Village, which itself forms part of the Sustainable Communities Plan, a £38billion Government-funded scheme to improve people’s homes, neighbourhoods and overall quality of life. The facility incorporates clinics from Ravenor Park and Tangmere Gardens and offers flexible accommodation for three GP practices, podiatry, specialist dentistry, family planning, mental health and a minor surgery and treatment suite. Specialist child health and paediatric therapy services will also be available, as will a base for health visitors and community midwives. The design of the building incorporates two large lightwells and colour has been widely used to identify individual floors, with treelike murals drawing the eye to the glazed roof.

Patients steer design of new cancer unit

PRIVATE spaces, a coffee lounge and an integrated pharmacy are just a few of the facilities provided at a new £4m cancer unit in London following a consultation with patients and staff. Funded by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the unit was officially opened this week at Guy’s Hospital, marking a key milestone in the development of a major cancer treatment centre by King’s Health Partners. Designed in consultation with users, the centre will benefit more than 15,000 day patients a year. Features include an assessment unit offering an alternative to A&E for chemotherapy patients who become ill after treatment; greater privacy, with no more than four patients in a group; a coffee lounge and internet access; a free on-site support service; multi-purpose consultation rooms; and an integrated pharmacy service to reduce waiting times and inconvenience. Anna Torode, one of the patients who contributed to the design of the unit, said: “I particularly value the colour schemes and the artwork, which together give a calming and uplifting environment.” Professor Arnie Purushotham, director of King's Health Partner's Integrated Cancer Centre, added: “We are absolutely delighted with these new facilities as there is growing evidence to show the benefit for patients when they receive their treatment in a calm and well-designed patient-focused environment.” The artwork in the unit was designed by Heather Barnett and Will Holloway.

Care home plan for former hospital site

SALISBURY NHS Foundation Trust, advised by Chesterton Humberts, has sold the freehold of Llangarren, its 1.75-acre site in Salisbury, to The Highwood Group for a new care home development. The site currently comprises a 7,653 sq ft four-storey Victorian building formerly used as a nurses’ hostel, which has been vacant for many years and is in poor condition having suffered fire damage and vandalism. The Highwood Group has secured planning permission for the demolition of the old extensions, the conversion of the main building, and the construction of a new three-storey extension to form a 62-bed care home. Peter Austin, senior land manager at The Highwood Group, said: “We believe the new care home, integrating parts of the existing historic building, will bring a new dimension to healthcare for the elderly within Salisbury and will regenerate a site which has been an eyesore for many years.”

Green light for extra parking at flagship hospital

TUNBRIDGE Wells Council's planning committee has agreed to an additional 100 parking spaces for visitors in the grounds of the new hospital at Pembury in Kent. The committee's approval means that when the new hospital redevelopment is completed in early 2012 there will be 950 spaces for its staff and 350 for visitors. Graham Goddard, new hospital development director for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, said: “At a public meeting in Pembury, villagers and representatives of patients and visitors were quick to point out that the original allocation of 250 was not sufficient as for so many people the car is their only means of transport. The challenge in providing additional spaces has been to locate them within a convenient distance to the main entrance as this is where reception, the meet-and-greet service and wayfinding are located.”

August launch for Cumberland cancer centre

CANCER patients will benefit from new facilities at the Cumberland Infirmary after patients and supporters raised more than £300,000 for an extension and refurbishment to the oncology department. Work began this week on the extension, which will see the current facilities refurbished, with the layout of the reception area and waiting room remodelled to improve patient privacy. Radiotherapy manager, Gwen Barker, said: “The reason for the extension is because our facilities have become so crowded as the number of patients has increased over the years. We hope the extra space will allow us to create a much calmer and more relaxing atmosphere for cancer patients.” Work began on the extension this week and is expected to be completed by August.

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