BDP appointed to manage Hertfordshire hospitals transformation project

Design team will lead on revamp of three hospitals

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is planning a major redevelopment of all three of its main hospital sites

BDP’s design team has won the contract to redevelop three hospitals managed by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT).

The ambitious plans include the design of around 90% of new buildings at the Watford General Hospital site and new facilities at the hospitals in Hemel Hempstead and St Albans.

The architect-led design team will draw on the experience of a wide range of in-house healthcare sector experts to provide specialist help and support to deliver the outline business case (OBC) and design concepts for all three sites.

Not only has BDP created hospital buildings that look stunning, but its focus on getting the design right for patients – down to the tiniest detail – impressed us

This is the latest in a line of recent healthcare project successes for the practice, including the design of the NHS Nightingale hospitals, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool, Grange University Hospital in Wales, and the Brunel Building at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Duane Passman, the trust’s acute redevelopment programme director, said: "Not only has BDP created hospital buildings that look stunning, but its focus on getting the design right for patients – down to the tiniest detail – impressed us.

“We are also assured by their experience of developing new hospital buildings on existing sites and are confident that they understand the importance of minimising disruption, keeping sites safe, and making sure that services can continue to run as normal.

“Delivering a project of this scale and complexity is very much a partnership between the trust and BDP and requires working with various partners, from construction firms to local authorities, to create buildings which will support the sustainable delivery of healthcare."

BDP project director, Paul Johnson, added: "We are delighted to have been selected to design this redevelopment project, supported by our interdisciplinary team of architects, engineers, landscape designers and town planners.

“We look forward to a successful and creative partnership with the many WHHT colleagues who will be involved in the project.

Delivering a project of this scale and complexity is very much a partnership between the trust and BDP and requires working with various partners, from construction firms to local authorities, to create buildings which will support the sustainable delivery of healthcare

“And we are absolutely confident that the resulting estate will be something that we, the trust, and the people of Hertfordshire will be justifiably proud of."

The plans at Watford include a large new clinical block to replace nearly all clinical facilities on the site at present – excluding the current acute admissions unit.

Most clinical services would be accommodated within new hospital facilities and the majority of inpatient accommodation would be single-occupancy rooms.

The redeveloped hospital will sit within a major regeneration project – Watford Riverwell – which will be landscaped and will offer green spaces and shops.

At Hemel Hempstead there are plans to provide a new purpose-built urgent treatment and diagnostics centre and to further develop the range of medical care, such as specialist diabetes and dermatology, which will move to this site.

Hemel Hempstead Hospital will also continue to provide diagnostic and outpatient services, with a focus on medical specialties and long-term conditions.

And St Albans City Hospital has been designated as the trust’s COVID-free site and so its ability to continue to provide planned surgery is crucial.

This will be further enhanced by plans to overhaul its theatres, create a rapid-access cancer diagnostic centre, and expand the range of diagnostics available by providing MRI and CT scanners.

This will increase the number of ‘one-stop-shop’ clinics and speed up diagnosis.

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