Colchester Accident and Emergency

Acute Health

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

Health Planner and Architect


Completed January 2014

Project description:
Medical Architecture were appointed by the Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust to design the reconfiguration of the Colchester General Hospital’s Emergency Care Department, to urgently make provision for a temporary expansion and internal reconfiguration of the department.  The Trust identified the need for the additional facilities to meet the increasing number of attendances resulting from a growing and older population.  Working for a Trust that is extremely challenged by the pressures of population and acuity, Medical Architecture’s familiarity with such issues helped to quickly find a solution. It involved construction work in live environments whilst maintaining 24 hour service, and change management to improve working practices.

The core works were to provide a temporary structure which accommodates a new entrance and triage facilities; and the infilling of the existing courtyard accommodating additional Majors cubicles. Medical Architecture produced a number of options which were presented to all key stakeholders to facilitate the resolution of a number of complex inter-relationships within the department. A conditional planning permission was negotiated with the Colchester Borough council and a full tender package was prepared for the contractor.

Even though the project had an urgent operational requirement, the budget was extremely constrained. The Trust had to demonstrate best value. We ensured an economic project delivery by using standardised partitions, accommodating the reuse of existing equipment and the use of temporary decanting facilities.

The challenging overall programme demanded experience of working in a live clinical environment with foresight and clear planning.

The architects are real experts, have done this before and came to us with real knowledge.” – Nick Chatten, Special Project’s Director, Colchester Hospital University NHS FT.

IMAGE © Medical Architecture 2013

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