New MRI facilities at Southend University Hospital enhance patient experience

The project to provide a new state-of-the-art MRI facility at Southend University Hospital has been completed

The project also provides a new reception suite and three patient bays with associated support accommodation

The facility provides cutting edge diagnostic capabilities for the region, which is also non-clinical and makes use of art work and feature panels to offer patients a more uplifting experience.

The department, which has been designed by LSI Architects, sits at the heart of the hospital site, linking existing buildings and forming a new infill extension. Uniquely for such a department, a shared control space overlooks three MRI scanners, two 1.5t machines and one 3t machine. One of the scanners is designated for paediatric users and another for bariatric use. This offers tailored experiences for users at a sensitive point in their patient journey.

The project also provides a new reception suite and three patient bays with associated support accommodation.

Ben Wall, an Architect at LSI Architects, said: “We worked hard to ensure delivery of a challenging brief, including full coordination of the different MRI shielding and technical requirements. This was then enhanced by co-ordination of artwork throughout the scheme, enabling the trust to achieve spaces sensitive to the users.

"Each of the MRI rooms includes artwork and feature ceiling panels designed to help put patients at ease, for example the children’s MRI room includes artwork to simulate a journey into space to add an element of fun to what can be a stressful process.

"Other areas were more influenced by nature which follows the principles of biophilic design, an approach that responds to humans’ innate connection to the natural world, to help to create an environment which promotes health and wellbeing. Roof lights also provide natural daylight to the patient areas.”

The project reached completion late last year.

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