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University Hospital of North Staffordshire

The ‘Fit for the Future’ project centralises all clinical services delivered by three hospitals in Stoke-on-Trent and surrounding areas into a new facility on the City General Hospital site.

Our client’s challenge

The University Hospital of North Staffordshire is a major acute teaching hospital, serving a local population of 500,000 in Stoke-on-Trent and providing specialist services for 3 million people in the wider area. But the fact that the hospital’s facilities were spread across three sites necessitated expensive and inconvenient travel for patients and staff. The aim of this project was to house all clinical services in brand-new facilities on one site.

There are six elements to the PFI project, including a new accident and emergency department, maternity centre and cancer unit.

Our approach

Because the new facilities were to be built on one of the existing sites, careful planning was required to maintain services for the community, drawing on WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff’s multidisciplinary skills and specialist healthcare experience.

The site was very congested, so WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff had to maintain close working relationships with the project team and the NHS trust to work in a live hospital environment.

The design and construction had to be carefully sequenced: the new maternity and oncology building had to be built before the old maternity block could be demolished.

The long-running project has also had to adapt to changing government policy and financial constraints, and meet tough energy usage standards. WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff found the only way to achieve stringent energy targets was to create a naturally ventilated hospital, using the embodied mass of the facade together with energy-efficient plant systems.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff civil and structural engineers were also asked to find ways to limit the amount of site labour and temporary works. They came up with a method of hybrid off-site construction, one of the first times this technique has been used in hospital design.