Designs unveiled for new Leeds General Infirmary hospitals on site of Old Nurses’ Home

Concept designs for two new state-of-art hospitals in Leeds have been unveiled today.

By Rebecca Marano
Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 10:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 1:26 pm

The new hospitals will be built at Leeds General Infirmary, on the site of the Old Nurses’ Home on Calverley Street.

As part of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT)'s 'Hospitals of the Future' programme, demolition work for the project began last year.

One of the hospitals will deliver a range of adult health services and the second will be the new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital.

A CGI of the exterior of both entrances and the landscape.

Architecture firm BDP has been appointed by the Trust to lead the design, using ideas such as outdoor space and play areas suggested by children and young patients in a design competition held last year.

The unveiling of the new design concepts, at an event on Wednesday, August 4, was attended by eight-year-old Mia Casey from Leeds, who had heart surgery at Leeds Children’s Hospital in 2015.

Mia’s mother, Vicky, healthcare architect and head of business development at BDP’s Leeds studio, said: “As a Leeds resident, and a parent of a child who has been cared for by the Trust, I know first-hand how vital it is that the new hospitals are built for, and around, the local community.

“The Trust sent us design ideas from local children and parents about what they wanted from their new hospitals, and they were passionate about creating a comforting experience for people in the most difficult of times, whilst they receive the very best treatment from the NHS.

Sketch of the Children's Hospital reception and tree.

“As a result, the new hospital will be the most supportive, stimulating, engaging and interesting place to visit, full of green areas, comfortable spaces and interesting art - an exemplar, world-class hospital and workplace, leading the way in hospital design, not just for the north of England but for the wider NHS.”

One such young designer who shared her views of how the new children’s hospital should look was 16-year-old Isabelle Plowman, who was the winner of the Daring Designers competition for her age category.

Isabelle’s design included safe, calm, communal outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed by patients and their families.

Former Leeds and Liverpool football star Dominic Matteo was also in attendance, having received lifesaving treatment at Leeds General Infirmary for a brain tumour in 2019.

CGI aerial shot of the exterior.

Dominic said: “From my point of view the care at the hospital is second to none. I can’t praise the hospital enough.

"It was absolutely amazing from top to bottom. Everyone was so friendly and compassionate and made me feel at ease and I’m really pleased that along with excellent new facilities for patients there’s also an emphasis staff well-being in the new designs.”

Inspired by the Yorkshire landscape, BDP has proposed a hospital structure that is shaped like the contours of the county's fells and dales, with a large island garden and play deck at its centre.

A central island garden takes its cues from the nearby fells, dales and erratics of Yorkshire and ward-level terraced gardens will provide a connection to the outside world for patients.

A CGI of the hospital restaurant exterior and landscape.

The design concept draws on the Trust’s aspirations to deliver a welcoming hospital, suffused with light and fresh air with green landscapes, play areas and panoramic views that connect the building to nature and the surrounding city.

The new hospitals will also provide the opportunity to restore the listed parts of the hospital.

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, added: “The building of our two new hospitals is the most important development in Leeds city centre for a generation.

"In terms of hospital-based healthcare, it’s the most important development in the city centre since 1868, when Leeds General Infirmary was first built.

“It’s wonderful to see that BDP has listened to the feedback we’ve given them and have come up with these concept designs that are thoroughly patient focused, and which place patient and staff wellbeing at the heart of our new hospitals.

"These concept designs give extensive access to daylight and greenery, and not only do they maximise wellness, but they also bring something of the dales into the city centre.

“These inspirational designs will see not only the creation of world class medical and research facilities, but also the creation of a landmark public building, of real architectural quality, of which Leeds can truly be proud.”

For the first time in Leeds, a brand-new Leeds Children’s Hospital (LCH) will bring all clinical services for children and young people under one roof.

The new hospital will enable LCH to expand and meet the demand for highly specialised services in areas including cancer treatment, neurology, liver, kidney and bone marrow transplantation and congenital heart surgery.

A new Maternity Centre will incorporate a dedicated midwifery-led unit and co-locate all inpatient maternity services and neonatal services on one site.

This will give expectant mothers more choice about how they give birth, helping to make sure they are able to stay with their new babies, even if they need extra care.

The new adults’ hospital will create a state-of-the art facility to the clinical services currently provided, supporting patients with all aspects of their care, from those attending for an outpatient appointment or a day case surgical procedure, to those needing the most advanced specialist care and support to recover from critical illness or injury.

A 24-bed extension to the critical care unit will provide extra capacity for treating patients – and a new ambulatory Imaging unit will help with diagnostics.

The Adult Critical Care service will provide care for a wide case-mix of patients and this increase in capacity will also support the Trust in meeting the delivery of more complex services across a range of clinical services.

A new diagnostic imaging department is expected to be at the heart of the hospital with rapid uninterrupted flows from outpatients as well as maintaining a separate and lower volume of inpatients from cardiac and nuclear physics.

It will support streamlined patient flows and make full use of digital technology to support virtual clinics and self-check-in.

Dame Linda Pollard, Chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We’re very proud of the progress we have made with the plans for our new hospitals, and we’re excited by the concepts put forward for what will be the most important development in Leeds city centre for many years.

“Digital technology and world-leading innovative techniques will be central to the services provided in the new hospitals whilst the old hospital estate will be redeveloped as part of the City’s Innovation District, bringing about direct and wider economic benefits of up to £11.2bn in net present value terms and more than 3,000 jobs.

"This redevelopment of the old LGI site will also help us to preserve some beautiful buildings with significant history to their former glory.”

Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, also attended the unveiling.

Mr Murison said: “Investment in infrastructure isn’t just an investment in bricks and mortar, it’s an investment in people and skills too, and it’s wonderful to see the dream of two new hospitals for Leeds progressing in this way.

“Not only will the hospitals provide the people of the city with world class health care for the 21st century, but they will also unlock the Leeds Innovation District and help bring jobs, investment and prosperity in health innovation to both Leeds and the wider corridor across the Pennines, building on world-class capabilities.”

Andrew Smith, head of healthcare at BDP, adds: “By applying our experience in designing the best healthcare facilities around the globe we are delivering a healthy and thoughtful hospital design for Leeds that looks to the future of best practice and innovation.

“Following a year where our NHS workers have, quite rightly, become the pride of the nation, we have evolved our clinically-led designs into also thinking about the hospital as an exceptional workplace.

"That means the design will contribute to a more efficient, familiar and pleasant environment for all staff, making it a great place to work. We are delighted to work with LTHT to bring this concept to life.”

The new first design concepts take the new hospital development to the next stage but will still need detailed design development.

The designs will be used as the basis for further engagement over the next 12-18 months before the final plans are agreed.

LTHT is planning to commence construction in 2023, enabling us to align with the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

The Hospitals of the Future project is part of the government’s commitment to build 40 hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion.