Flexible Covid 19 Ward, Oncology Assessment Unit (OAU)

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Key Info


The Christie





Completion Date

April 2020

What We Did

Gilling Dod were originally commission to provide an OAU.  However, when the Covid 19 pandemic escalated in the UK, it was imperative to segregate Covid 19 patients whilst still caring for patients within the Cancer Centre.

With limited availability for isolation wards, the solution was to use the earmarked OAU space as an isolation unit fit for the Trusts Covid response, at the same time, future proofing the OAU whenever the Covid facility is no longer required.

The Trust had identified a complete floor above the newly opened Proton Therapy Centre, which could provide 26 bed spaces within two 8 bed wards and single bed areas. Crucially, we were asked to design and deliver the new facility in 10-weeks, during the UK lockdown period, whilst having to observe on and off-site social distancing.

Early in the scheme, it became apparent that the Trust needed 10 beds to be handed over earlier than programmed.  So, in conjunction with the rest of the team, Gilling Dod Architects committed to handing over the entire facility in 35 days.

The new environment created a positive impact for staff and patients with excellent natural light and views across Didsbury from the elevated position. The patient environment is also enhanced with single bed wards all with en-suite facilities, digital smart televisions & WiFi.

Included in the design was a dedicated patient reception, necessary as it was away from the main hospital reception, giving total separation from Covid 19.  Dedicated staff breakout rooms and change areas were also provided.  Clinical Assessment rooms and Counselling Suite were segregated from the treatment areas by utilising internal glazing that allowed for natural light.  

Wards needed to be negative pressure, reinforcing the green status of corridors and so protecting staff going about their daily duties.  This ensured, that once in their rooms, patients were isolated from the rest of the unit.

In just 5 weeks, a fully HTM & HBM complaint 26 bed facility was delivered, whilst the Proton Therapy centre remained live and functioned throughout the works. This was only possible through true collaborative working by the whole team.