News round-up: Construction and design

Published: 18-Nov-2011

Latest industry news

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

Work starts on Staffs health centre

The major phase of construction work on a new £10m health centre in Staffordshire gets underway this week. The building in Biddulph, which has been commissioned by NHS North Staffordshire, is being developed through the Prime 200 LIFT partnership led by private sector partner, Prime, and will serve 21,000 patients. Due for completion in spring 2013, the four-storey centre will house four GP practices and a range of health services including district nursing, podiatry, chronic disease management and a minor ailments clinic. Maureen Turfrey, project manager at the primary care trust, said: “We are very pleased to have reached this important milestone which means that major building work can now begin. Biddulph Primary Care Centre will greatly improve the provision of healthcare facilities in the town and better meet the health needs of local residents on their doorstep.” The development has achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating, boasting solar PV and solar thermal panels on the roof. Steve Hance from architects, One Creative Environments, said: “The contemporary design is inspired by the local area and thanks to collaboration with community and healthcare professionals throughout the design stages, we are confident it will become an important new landmark for Biddulph, as well as a valued health facility.”

Facelift for paediatric wards

Peadiatric wards are being given a facelift with the launch of a new range of decorative fabrics aimed at children and young people in hospital environments. Drapilux has launched a collection of 215 fabrics featuring five patterns, which can be used on curtains and furnishings, providing an age-appropriate home-from-home setting to boost recovery. The company’s textile designer, Kirstin Herrmann, said: “Going to hospital is never easy for children – unfamiliar faces and surroundings and being separated from their parents can often be too much for little patients to bear. A child-friendly hospital room can ease their worries and pain, helping them along the road to recovery.” Commenting on the new range, she added: “If you take a closer look at the fabrics, you will see that the motifs actually tell stories. Where will the animals’ journey take them? What will the giraffe, zebra and all their friends experience along the way? These patterns are designed to spark the imagination of boys and girls, while easing their pain and fear.” The fabrics are suitable for various aged including young teenagers.

£24m estates contract won

Willmott Dixon has won a five-year contract to lead a £24m estates improvement programme at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The deal includes mechanical and engineering renewal, energy efficiency advice, ward refurbishment, the construction of new buildings and other general infrastructure work. As part of the contract, Medical Architecture will provide advice on strategic design issues, with URS Scott Wilson acting as mechanical, engineering and structural services consultant, and VB Johnson as cost advisor. This is the eighth win for Willmott Dixon under the NHS ProCure21+ framework in the past four months. It has also been contracted to carry out works at Airedale General Hospital in west Yorkshire.

Reminiscence room helps dementia patients

Patients with dementia are being helped by a specially-designed reminiscence room recreating memories from the past at the Poynings unit of the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath. Run by Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Poynings caters for patients with a medical problem who also have dementia, and the reminiscence room is decorated with post-war furnishings, scrapbooks and has an old-style TV playing old films, while music from the 40s to 60s is regularly played. Lisa Godfrey, ward manager, said: “Memories can really stimulate and comfort patients with dementia. Staff in the unit use photos, dolls, puzzles and games, as well as photos and scrapbooks. We are also always in need of donated old photographs of Brighton and Hove, Haywards Heath and mid Sussex to use in the unit.”

Work begins on Scottish health centre

Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, and representatives from NHS Lothian, City of Edinburgh Council and the health hub, South East Scotland, will this week cut the first piece of turf to mark the start of construction work on the £12m Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre. Situated in Harvesters Way, the facility will offer a range of services, including providing a base for the Wester Hailes Medical Practice and community services such as podiatry, dentistry, paediatrics, mental health and learning disability care. Dr Charles Winstanley, chairman of NHS Lothian, said: “We are delighted the project has taken another step forward. The centre will offer many wide-ranging benefits to the people of Wester Hailes and surrounding areas in the years to come.”


Camino Healthcare has opened the doors to its first development, a specialist residential rehabilitation and step-down facility in the West Midlands. The £1.6m centre in West Bromwich consists of one eight-bed unit and one five-bed unit providing care for adults with severe, enduring mental illness. The company plans to build five other units in the region in the next few years.

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