Patients move into £100m Whitehaven Hospital


New community facility focuses on enhancing departmental flows

Patients are poised to move into the new Whitehaven Hospital following the completion of a £100m redevelopment – the largest project undertaken to date under the original P21 framework.

The state-of-the art building was designed by John Cooper Architects and through to completion by Gilling Dod Architects and aims to significantly enhance clinical services by providing a departmental layout that enables patients and staff to navigate their way around the hospital with safety, privacy and dignity at the heart of the design.

Sean Kember from Gilling Dod said: “The design focused on the redevelopment of the existing West Cumberland Hospital with the aim of providing 100% inpatient single- bedroom accommodation.”

“Key to the project was developing excellent departmental flows and at the time the design was approved, in 2012, it was a forward-thinking solution in terms of its fresh approach to the patient pathway.”

The design of the A&E department, accessed through a designated entrance, was fundamental. It is located alongside the radiology department and has distinct areas for minor injuries, majors, resuscitation and direct access to an acute admissions unit and a nurse practitioner-led observation area.

Clinical pathways

The outpatient department is located alongside the main entrance to the new hospital and is adjacent to radiology, linking directly to A&E, thereby reducing the patient journey, while also ensuring that X-ray and scanning facilities are close by.

Intensive care and critical care units are located within easy access to A&E, having direct and discrete vertical access to the theatre department. The theatre suite adjoins a new maternity department with its own dedicated theatre and special care baby unit and the elective and emergency theatres flow directly into stage one recovery and on to the surgical and medical wards with their 100% single beds.

Patients move into £100m Whitehaven Hospital

Sean Kember said: “The design focused on ensuring that these clinical adjacencies were maintained throughout.”

Facilities management and support services, such as catering and portering, as well as pathology and pharmacy services, are all located at the lower ground level, beneath the clinical areas. These are linked to the rest of the hospital via a central dedicated vertical circulation core allowing direct and completely- independent access to all clinical areas, ensuring patients and visitors are separated from the general day-to-day servicing requirements of the hospital.

Breaking new ground

The project was the first major development in which Gilling Dod used Revit software with Building Information Modelling (BIM). Off-site manufacture was also a key element to the success of this project, with many building elements, from the external facades to the plant rooms and service runs, being fabricated off site in a controlled environment.

“Initial staff feedback on the new facilities has been very positive, with clinical and FM teams saying they are amazed by the place, its size, and in particular the patient environment and patient flows,” said Kember.

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“We are now looking forward to welcoming patients in the next few months.”

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