Built environment and estates consultancy, Essentia Trading Ltd (ETL), has overseen and managed a complex refurbishment project to create a specialist unit both for young people requiring long-term ventilation, and those receiving neuro rehabilitation care, for the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, operated by the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
Created via the refurbishment of unused second floor clinic rooms within the older part of St Thomas’ south wing, the Snow Leopard ward provides 11 highly specialised patient bed spaces, mostly in individual rooms. These cater for patients who, once stabilised, need a transition space that allows they and their families to lead as normal a life as possible before a transfer back home. The ward also incorporates a now re-designed Sleep Centre.
Part way through the project, the Trust’s clinical team asked ETL to work – in a separate project, (each had its own design team, but they shared the same main contractor, ME Construction) – on a new Children’s Ambulatory Unit, Snow Fox, directly below Snow Leopard. Snow Fox – with 19 clinical spaces, and created via a ‘refurb’ of former office space – was needed to boost paediatric capacity.
Essentia Trading said: “Our expert team provided project management for both projects from start to finish, working closely with clinicians and nurses to ensure that the new facilities met staff and patient requirements.”
Essentia says the reconfiguration of space within the 1860s-built St Thomas’ Hospital presented many challenges. The work took place within busy clinical areas, so had to be undertaken with minimal disruption to existing services. On both projects, ETL facilitated integration of art. The art co-ordinator was Art in Site.
Dan Humphries, Essentia senior project manager, said: “Snow Fox has the capacity to care for an additional 250 paediatric patients each week. Snow Leopard, meanwhile, has been designed to enable parents to sleep in the same room as their children. It also has wonderful shared spaces and a children’s playroom, all designed so that medical equipment is not obtrusive or obstructive. We worked around all of the challenges to deliver both projects on budget.”