Early designs for new Leeds Children's Hospital feature large island garden and play deck

A new children's hospital for Leeds could be shaped like the contours of Yorkshire's fells and dales, with a large island garden and play deck at its centre.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 11:45 am

It was this first design concept for a circular building that led Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT) to appoint BDP to lead on the architectural design of its Hospitals of the Future programme.

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Painstaking demolition work takes place on a busy Leeds General Infirmary ready ...

The long-term scheme, which aims transform healthcare in the city and beyond, will see two state-of-the-art hospital buildings created at Leeds General Infirmary. The first will deliver a range of adult health services and the second will be the new home for Leeds Children’s Hospital.

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The view from the helideck at Leeds General Infirmary.

BDP was named as the preferred bidder following an international design competition process. It took inspiration from an earlier contest for children and young patients who suggested outdoor space and play areas should be featured in any new hospital design.

Simon Worthington, the Trust's director of finance and senior responsible officer for the Hospitals of the Future project, said: "Our brief to designers was to create new hospitals that provide us with the best clinical design solutions, and all through this process we have involved those who know our hospitals best – our patients, clinicians and healthcare staff who work there every day – and we’ll be engaging with them again as we move towards finalising our proposals with the design team.

"The designs are currently concept designs and will be subject to on-going detailed design development through patient, family and staff engagement during the next 12-18 months as the final design detail of the new hospitals for Leeds are finalised."

The project is part of the Government’s commitment to build 40 hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7bn.

Health Minister Ed Argar said: "This appointment is an important step forward towards the delivery of a new hospital in Leeds – one of the centrepieces of the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

"I’m looking forward to seeing how Leeds Teaching Hospitals make use of trailblazing design techniques and modern methods of construction to shape a facility that meets the precise needs of patients and staff, which aligns with our approach to building new hospitals."

The challenge for BDP’s team is to create an innovative and flexible hospital that meets the demands of modern clinical requirements as well as future medical developments.

Andrew Smith, head of healthcare at BDP, said: "We are delighted to work with LTHT to bring this concept to life. 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."

The Trust hopes to build the new hospitals by 2026 and is working closely with the Department for Health and Social Care as well as NHS England and NHS Improvement so that best practice can be shared across all sites being developed under the government programme.

Dame Linda Pollard, who chairs the Trust, said: "We’re very proud of the progress we have made with the plans for our new hospitals, which will be the most important development in Leeds city centre for a generation.

"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 3,600 jobs."

The Trust has appointed WSP as its civil and structural designer to work on the project along with Ove Arup as the client civil and structural technical advisor. WSP has also been appointed as the mechanical and electrical designer also providing specialist net zero/sustainability and digital design advice.

Mott MacDonald has been appointed as the client mechanical and electrical technical adviser also providing sustainability and digital advice, with Arcadis appointed as cost managers on the project. MJ Medical have been brought in as medical equipment advisers.

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