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Unity Inspires Hospital Design Underpinned by Contemporary Models of Care
The reopening of the Emergency Department (ED) and the renal unit at Lismore Base Hospital marks the first stage of significant upgrades to the regional referral, level 5 base hospital within the Northern New South Wales Local Health District.
Providing state-of-the-art facilities, Stage 3a has been designed by global architecture and design practice Woods Bagot. A complex project phased over many years, the redevelopment, being delivered by Health Infrastructure, has allowed the hospital to expand its capacity to treat patients and meet the increasing demand for healthcare services.
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The hospital provides a wide range of health services to the community, with the 51-bed emergency department and 18-bed renal unit the first departments of the hospital’s $260 million redevelopment to be completed and opened to the public. A comprehensive Level 5 Emergency Department undertaking the provision of care to almost 30,000 patients annually across district, the new ED facility also manages acute medical and acute surgical problems, as well as trauma and all forms of adult and paediatric health issues.
At the heart of the project was a requirement to augment the hospital’s ability to provide modern, purpose built facilities designed to promote patient-centred treatment, underpinned by contemporary models of care and reflective of clinical best practice. Considering the end-user experience was about making patients and visitors feel comfortable and safe within the confines of the hospital, opening up the interiors to encourage patients to feel part of the community rather than isolated and alone.
By breaking down the clinical model, the design provided a unique opportunity to create a more comfortable patient experience in the emergency and renal departments.
Creating a gesture of privacy without isolation within the open-plan renal unit, small organic pebble-shaped partitions between each bay help to maintain functionality and sightlines for staff, while also serving to draw natural daylight into the space. The pebble motif is echoed in recessed ceiling bulkheads, with softly-lit pendants also used to demarcate nursing stations and observation points.
Referencing nature, a repetitive foliage-inspired motif has been translated into the interior wall treatments by stylised bamboo panelling. A hierarchy of spaces is created via floor finishes and joinery details which are tied to the wayfinding strategy and holistic design concept.
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