A modern hospital to set the standard for the NHS
Phil Hope, Minister for Care Services, hailed the new St Helens Hospital a “blueprint for the future” during an official visit in October 2008. Mr Hope went on to say, “It is an amazing site and a fantastic achievement. The detailing is unbelievable, for instance edges of walls are rounded so dirt cannot collect. It’s a great design”.
St Helens is a new state of the art, centralised diagnostic and treatment centre on Merseyside. Such modern facilities are the future for the NHS’s new integrated healthcare service. The architects have captured this forward looking, modern feel in their design solution for St Helens. The driving concept behind the design was the creation of a patient focussed building sitting in a healing landscape with art, nature and colour integrated into all aspects of the design.
We have followed the principle that “form follows function”. Our design delivered this first and foremost to enable the Trust to deliver its proposed models of care.
A key element of the design brief for the project was to create a building that would remove some of the anxiety of coming to hospital and provide an environment where people are relaxed and comfortable, and which optimises patients flows and staff efficiencies.
The light and calming central atrium design is itself truly impressive. Designed to reduce stress and worry for patients and family waiting for treatment, it has an easy to understand way-finding system which brings colour and vitality to the space, and enjoys views into beautifully landscaped courtyards. It is a people place populated by a coffee bar, retail outlet, staff & visitor food court, main reception and more innovatively, the main clinic waiting areas, linked to the existing intermediate care wards, providing an integrated healthcare campus of buildings, which is efficient and flexible. The changing levels of the site have also been optimised to provide different entrances into the Atrium which minimise travel distances for vulnerable patients.
Patient Valerie Gleave from Haydock said: “It doesn’t really look like you expect hospitals to be. It is very welcoming and friendly and you don’t feel nervous about coming here”.
The architects have worked at all times in a spirit of true partnership, integrating their team with that of the Trust to deliver a design that reflects the Trust’s clinical models of care and enable them to realise its clinical aspirations.