New children’s day treatment centre at Evelina London is completed

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 11-Sep-2023

Facility will enable an additional 2,300 children to be treated every year

The six-storey Children’s Day Treatment Centre at Evelina London Children’s Hospital has been completed, helping the hospital to treat an additional 2,300 children per year.

Housed on the ground and first floors, the facility provides state-of-the-art day surgery services for children and was designed by ADP Architecture to enhance the patient experience for young people and their families.

Located next to the Evelina London Children’s Hospital building in Lambeth Palace Road, the unit increases the number of children the hospital can treat each year, with waiting times reduced thanks to the seamless same-day patient journey – with everything from pre-surgery checks to post-op recovery co-located in one purpose-built space.

The new building provides two new operating theatres and specialist clinical facilities, including the latest child-focused technology and equipment.

It also houses an admissions area, first stage recovery, second stage recovery, and discharge facilities, along with clinical support spaces.

Patient flow

Patient flow was a primary design driver and the interior is mapped as a one-way system, whereby patients being prepared for and entering theatre do not cross over with patients post-op, or as they move into recovery and same-day discharge.

In the admission area, a contemporary play area is designed to entertain young patients and reduce waiting anxiety, and the centre includes well-observed second-stage recovery rooms for young patients – ranging from early years to teenagers – as well as supportive spaces for accompanying family members.

On the second floor of the building there are designated spaces for staff rest and relaxation away from the clinical setting – as well as changing rooms and flexible spaces for meetings and training.

Overcoming the restrictions of inserting a new build within a constrained site, the design solution utilises modern method construction (MMC) techniques.

The building’s steel frame is clad with a single-aesthetic panellised baguette rain screen system, providing both solar shading and privacy from neighbouring buildings.

And, sitting between the original red-brick Victorian St Thomas’ Hospital South Wing and the contemporary Evelina London Children’s Hospital East Wing, the new building mediates between the two with a modern terracotta façade.

The interior of the building was designed in collaboration with staff, patients, and their families. Image by Jim Stephenson

The interior of the building was designed in collaboration with staff, patients, and their families. Image by Jim Stephenson

Simple and striking

Working with young people, NHS staff, and other building users, ADP designed the new building to reflect both its heritage context and the adjacent highly-functional and child-friendly Evelina London.

The simple building form and coherent elevation design sit comfortably next to its contemporary neighbour, while providing a clean backdrop for the more decorative South Wing.

And the interiors of the centre, including colour, graphics, and wayfinding, were consciously designed in collaboration with art consultant, Art in Site, and the Guy’s and St Thomas’ arts team, to create an inclusive and engaging environment for children and a calm and reassuring space for families.

In terms of artwork, an outer-space theme was chosen by staff and patients to continue the narrative of the natural world theme of Evelina London.

Consulting with children through Art in Site, Japanese manga artist, Kiriko Kubo – who has previously designed award-winning artwork for Evelina London – reimagined original designs by children to create 82 space themed pieces, which are featured throughout the building.

The building is rated as BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and is fully accessible, with level thresholds at all external entrance doors, accessible WCs on all floors, door widths which allow for wheelchair users, and visual and colour contrasts designed for those with sensory impairments.

The building is also designed to be easily adaptable and fully versatile to respond to future NHS need, which is set to change and evolve over the coming decades.

Hannah Brewster, regional healthcare director at ADP Architecture, said: “A key part of the brief was for the building to be separate from the main Evelina London’s Children’s Hospital – to both improve the overall experience of patients and protect the use of the unit as a day care centre.

“Our design ensures the building has its own identity with its own front door, appearing standalone, but with the added support and reassurance of being physically connected to the main hospital.

“It is visually coherent through the sensitive use of the terracotta façade and integration of the interior design and artwork to feel very much part of the Evelina family.”

James O’Brien, director of operations and improvement at Evelina London and project sponsor, added: “Opening the Children’s Day Treatment Centre is a significant milestone for us in continuing to provide outstanding healthcare for even more children and young people, meeting their needs now and in the future.

“The look on the children’s faces when they enter the building makes it clear how special the facility is and how different from what many people would expect when entering a ‘hospital’.”

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