AN EXEMPLAR PROJECT CONVERTS AN AGEING ESTATE INTO A NEW MODEL HOSPITAL
The New West Cumberland Hospital will be a benchmark for the new generation of facilities that must replace the old district hospitals. It will be the hub of a much wider network providing acute care whilst many of the traditional hospital based services will be provided in the community.
The budget for this project was set at £100 million (later reduced to £90 million) before any detailed brief was formulated. Our winning strategy was to devise a development plan which balanced new building and refurbishment, reconstruction and demolition to get as much out of this budget as possible.
We recognised that the functional content of the new facility could be significantly smaller than the existing hospital because many of the ambulatory and non-acute services were planned to be relocated into community settings, and developed the brief and the functional content with the clinicians, management and design team. JCA demonstrated how the ‘engine room’ components of this second generation model hospital – Emergency, Imaging, Theatres, Critical Care and the Inpatient beds – could all be in the highest standard of new accommodation. Those parts of the existing hospital which were retained were converted to ambulatory/administrative uses or left in their current state.
This solution managed to reduce significantly the overall floor area. A radically reorganised campus design created the perception for patients, staff and the townspeople of Whitehaven that this was a new and state of the art hospital despite retaining many of the original components.
The scheme was developed in very close consultation with a small group of key clinicians at the helm of the dialogue between the PSCP design team and the hospital’s stakeholders.