LRI Emergency Department
University of Leicester Hospitals NHS Trust/ Interserve Construction
Completed - 2018
8000 sqm/ £48m
Phase 1 of the new Leicester Royal Infirmary purpose built Emergency Floor, the first major investment in its five year £320m strategic plan has been completed following a design development which began in early 2014. Leicester’s current Emergency Department (ED), which was last was upgraded 10 years ago, was designed to care for 100,000 patients. It now sees 180,000 patients each year – that’s over 500 a day - and that is expected to increase. The building also includes a dedicated Children’s ED which is now the 2nd largest in the country.
The design challenge was to rationalise and streamline access to the site and improve flows into and through the existing hospital infrastructure. New dedicated ambulance entrances are provided which splits flows between adult and children’s arrivals to dedicated facilities, with access to combined diagnostic services. The structure of clear clinical patient pathways were intrinsic to ensuring accommodation adjacencies which link to dedicated phase 2 ED assessment wards and GP/inpatient facilities. The new facility includes 32 dedicated majors bays designed with telescopic sliding doors to address requirements for patient dignity and privacy and improve clinical infection control measures.
Externally, the rationalisation of the access infrastructure is also driven by the clinical model. The need for a single adult entrance and an ‘aurally and visually’ separate paediatric entrance has informed where both public and emergency traffic enters the site and where pedestrians enter the building. The interior design process at LRI has been rigorous and driven from the outset by the clinical teams and stakeholders; consultations have been regular and detailed to ensure that the needs of the emergency floor, both physically and psychologically, are met. The design must appeal to a large demographic and has both specialist paediatric and geriatric facilities. The emergency floor is in operation 24/7 and finishes have been specified for their robustness, minimising the need for maintenance and avoiding the disruption this can cause.