Full project details
Room for one – setting a new standard for hospital accommodation.
Laing O'Rourke were principal contractor to build an extensive new hospital, designed to improve the quality of individual patient care, operational efficiency and visitor navigation, and to reduce the risk of infection (particularly MRSA and C.difficile). The first in the UK to boast 100% single-room occupancy, all with en suite bathrooms, Tunbridge Wells Hospital now houses 513 emergency beds, pre-planned complex/cancer surgery, trauma care, women and children's centres, orthopaedic surgery ward, radiotherapy and chemotherapy facilities.
As one of the biggest hospital developments in the UK, we used advanced Building Information Modelling (BIM) techniques to build high levels of safety and programme efficiency into the construction process. Key components were assembled off site and designed to slot together precisely.
During phase one we overcame the challenge of creating accessible public entrances to the seven-storey building half way up a steep gradient. Service access was installed on the lower levels. Robust logistics ensured the women and children’s centres, outpatients, delivery rooms and obstetrics theatres were all completed on time and to budget.
Adaptability and sustainability
Designed to connect with the surrounding Kent countryside, each wing is divided into south-facing finger wards. Natural light and air filters into the rooms under individual patient control. Wings can be divided to adapt to fluctuations in demand and the nursing stations have enhanced visibility. The final phase involved demolition of the existing building and conservation of the original chapel as part of the new scheme. Extensive landscaping will regenerate the surrounding site back into heathland.
Planning for the future
The design includes future proofing to allow plans for automatic delivery vehicles to operate out of hours, reducing any impact on the patients’ daily environment. Areas of shell, expansion and soft space have also been included to support future clinical needs.