NHS hospital designed to raise the bar for healthcare facilities
Hexham General Hospital was Britain’s first major National Health Service (NHS) facility to change the paradigm and level of expectation in healthcare design.
Completed in May 2008, the 80,000sf extension includes integrated primary care, education and chronic diseases treatment centres.
The new building is designed to meet the changing needs of healthcare, ensuring that local people benefit from better service and reduced waiting time. It accommodates 10 doctors from two local practices.
The hospital is 81% single rooms, all with en-suite bathrooms. Benefits include infection control, comfort privacy, and more family space around patient beds.
A simple circulation system optimises adjacencies between key departments, segregating public / out-patient traffic from in-patient / staff movement, and
the design of the in-patient wards permits greater staffing flexibility and improves nursing efficiency.
Interior walking and unit distances are reduced, contained behind an attractive exterior with distinctive curvilinear forms, while interior materials were selected to minimise noise and create a warmer, less institutional ambiance.
Patient rooms have abundant natural light and views of the surrounding countryside.
Patients, visitors, staff and the community can all use the reception, dining and retail facilities, with flexible seating enabling patients / family to sit alone or in small groups.
The main hospital’s attractive atrium acts as its “heart”, giving a positive, non-institutional impression by using natural and indirect lighting.
55,000 trees and shrubs create a park-like environment where no formal landscaping existed. The hospital is a significant contributor to the town winning awards for “Northumbria in Bloom”.
The overall design has received an outstanding endorsement from nursing staff.