Women’s and Newborn Unit receives spectacular £1.8m makeover

Bradford Royal Infirmary’s Women’s and Newborn Unit has transformed its look following a fabulous 12-month makeover.

The building has an attractive new look and it’s also now more comfortable and welcoming for patients and staff, and is much more energy efficient.

The Women’s and Newborn Unit is probably one of Bradford’s most well-known hospital buildings, where over 200,000 babies have been born since it was built more than half a century ago.

The five-storey building on Smith Lane has been transformed to improve facilities for patients, thanks to the investment by Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

As well as making the building fit for purpose, the £1.8m makeover also protects it from bad weather and has fixed issues with heat loss, draughts, noise and leaks, allowing the Trust to conserve energy and cut costs.

Midwifery and Gynaecology Matron, Amanda Hardaker, said the whole team was thrilled with the end result – and that the process had gone so smooth.

“The fact that we’ve been able to keep services running as normal while all this work has gone on is testament to the support and consideration of the contractors,” said Amanda.

“We are so pleased with the finished job: the main difference is that we’re insulated now and fit for the future. We’ve gone from having to have extra heaters on in patients’ rooms to a really balmy temperature, so that we often don’t even need the radiators on.

Optimise outcomes for babies

“And most importantly it means that we can optimise outcomes for babies. The best thing for new born babies, especially ones which are underweight and more vulnerable, is that the heat service is consistent, which it absolutely is now.”

The refit, designed by Property Tectonics (pt) as lead consultant, includes new better insulated windows, refurbishment of the roof and weatherproof insulated cladding panels on the outside of the building.

The insulation and cladding, produced by ROCKWOOL and Rockpanel respectively, is made from the latest materials for optimum fire resilience and its acoustic properties reduce noise transfer. It goes beyond all the latest British regulatory standards and checks for fire safety while also meeting European fire safety standards.

Thomas Molloy, from the Trust’s Estates Design team, has worked closely with the contractors and Maternity staff over the past year and is very proud of how the building now looks.

“As well as making the building fit for purpose, the makeover has also brought some big improvements in terms of energy efficiency and bringing the building into the 21st century. It’s a great improvement!” he said.

Professor Trevor Mole, managing director of Property Tectonics, said: “The scheme represents a great example of teamwork and excellence in project delivery by hospital staff and their professional advisors cooperating and engaging at every level to produce a very successful outcome, creating the right internal environment which saves energy, protects the planet and improves the look and feel of the hospital estate; all achieved whilst maintaining full operation of the unit.”

Head of Midwifery, Sara Hollins, said the unit was now nice and inviting for patients and staff: “Externally it looks spectacular: new and modern, but it’s also clinically a very good thing; everyone is very happy with it and we’re getting loads of positive comments.”

ROCKWOOL’s specification manager, Martin Wrigley, said: “The Trust required an acoustic performance, along with an insulation product, which would deliver on the thermal and fire safety elements of the project. The solution delivered not only surpassed the building regulations, but a lovely aesthetic finish was achieved.”

The investment is part of the Trust’s £75m capital build programme to improve patient care across our hospitals over a five-year period, which includes the new £28m wing at Bradford Royal Infirmary (BRI).