The Royal Victoria Hospital is situated only a few minutes drive from Belfast city centre. It is one of four linked hospitals that makes up Northern Ireland's biggest and best known hospitals complex. Almost two thirds of the Northern Ireland population live within 40 minutes travel of this 70 acre site. The new £150m critical care unit houses revolutionary glazed intensive care rooms and suites, designed and installed especially to combat new infection control challenges.
The design journey:
In partnership with the University of Ulster, the Trust and Invest NI, we have developed an isolation and contamination control suite, out of glass, for use in critical care units of hospitals. In 2011 we secured our first order with the new Royal Victoria Hospital, which has just been completed. The product allows the isolation suites to be easy cleaned, provide complete visibility and incorporate a dedicated air handling system to adjust the atmospheric pressure from plus to minus 50 pascals of positive and negative pressure depending on whether the unit has to contain an infection or prohibit an infection from entering the unit.
With the end user always in mind, this solution to infection control was completed to a very high standard with regard to design and finish, to ensure the patients’ stay in the unit was as comfortable as possible. We discovered that infection control costs the health authority an estimated £7 billion annually within Europe and anticipated that our patented technology will help tackle this financial burden and aid quicker patient recovery times. As well as having design and buildability in the forefront of our minds during the project, we also had a responsibility to complete the project on time and to previously agreed budgets. We are always aware, when completing health authority contracts, of our responsibility to the tax payer; acknowledging that the funding in this sector must be efficiently used.
We have won this year’s coveted CEF Health Infrastructure Award for this patented work on the Isolation Suites at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.
Photograph courtesy of ‘Citybus renegade’
New Photos by Owen Griffiths