29 January 2008

Patients at the new Queen’s Hospital in Romford are recovering their health in a peaceful and attractive ward environment, thanks in part to the fabrics supplied and installed by contract interiors specialist, Gradus.

The £261million building is the largest hospital of its kind and Gradus fabrics are fitted in 95% of the impressive building, including adult and children’s wards, a day nursery and administrative offices.

Designed by architects Jonathan Bailey Associates and Building Design Partnership, the size and complexity of the building, plus the 39 month build programme by Bovis Lend Lease, saw the hospital win the top award as the 2007 PFI /PPP Project of the Year at the Building Awards.

At the size of nearly 12 football pitches, reaching 1,038,725 sq ft, the new acute hospital is a key addition to the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust. The hospital extends over 5 floors, with 4500 rooms and over 900 beds. Despite the size and tight build programme, the project was delivered both on time and on budget.

The scale of the project provided a logistical challenge even for Gradus, who are an approved supplier to the NHS, with the work taking two months to complete and the company supplying the Trust with nearly half as many spares as originals.

Gradus provided a complete supply and installation service, including the measure, make and fit of the window and cubicle curtains in all paediatric and adult wards. The company worked closely with the architects, main contractors and the NHS Trust team to ensure the fabrics had the right durability and hygienic properties to create a safe, nurturing environment.

As part of a PFI project, it was also essential that the fabrics would offer long-term value for money, through the ability to withstand high levels of wear and tear and frequent cleaning.

“Wisp” design fabrics from Gradus’ classic range in a subtle aqua tone were used in the adults ward, with the lilac themed “Zozo” brightening up the paediatric wards, creating a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere, far removed from traditional institutional décor.

Gradus fabrics were also chosen for the day nursery; a separate part of the new Queen’s hospital, where the brightly striped Hornby collection suits the lively nature of the facility.

The result is both visually pleasing and meets the crucial NHS performance and healthcare guidelines.

Gradus Fabrics Marketing Manager, Pamela Cairns, commented:

“This contract called on all our long experience in hospital fit out. The fabrics have an important role to play in creating the right atmosphere for both patients and staff. Health professionals are more and more aware of the importance of colour and its psychological impact, and the design and colour options selected were ideal for maintaining the hotel feel.

“At the same time there were the harder facts to consider: the importance of hygiene and infection control; the need for durability as the fabrics will go through heavy duty cleaning cycles; and we also had to meet demanding timescales to measure, make and fit the fabrics which was a great project management exercise.

“We were all delighted when the hospital won the Project of the Year Award but the great response from staff and patients alike is even more rewarding.”

For more information on Gradus Fabrics or other Gradus products, contact Gradus on 01625 428922.

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