Bradford Hospital Ward Refurbishment Wins Best Interior Design Award

A landmark initiative to improve and enhance wards at Bradford Royal Infirmary has scooped the title of Best Interior Design at the annual Building Better Healthcare Awards, announced earlier this month.

The team responsible for the project includes Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, principle contractor Bradford-based PEC, Andy Edwards Design, Big Studio Glass Design, and New Vision Signs & Graphics.

The now nationally acclaimed ‘Enhancing the Healing Environment’ project was the largest refurbishment of its kind for patients with dementia in an NHS hospital and saw the Foundation Trust invest more than £450,000, with a further £50,000 awarded from The King’s Fund, towards upgrading facilities to create a more calming space to influence patient behaviour and improve the wards for patients with dementia, visitors and their families.

The judges said: “This is a breath of fresh air in terms of interior design in a clinical environment.

“It is about people inhabiting spaces in a thoughtful manner. The project was nurse led and involved the local community as part of a multi-disciplinary team. The resulting social spaces on the wards are very difficult to find in many other buildings.

“The project team has been clever with the use of clues on doors so that people are able to find their bed spaces and they have also used colour effectively and things like memory boxes. In addition they have carried out an evaluation and the patients are definitely calmer and happier. It is a very good example of using knowledge and experience to create a very human environment.”

PEC managing director Sohan Panesar said: “We are delighted by this accolade, which recognises the hard work, commitment and visionary approach of the team responsible for this landmark project. It was a real pleasure working with all the partners and this award, together with the positive comments from all who visit the wards, are a great endorsement of this type of approach to developing healthcare environments.”

Earlier this year, the national Clinical Director for Dementia for England at the Department of Health, Professor Alistair Burns, visited the wards and described the project as a fabulous example of how redesigning a ward could make it so much more welcoming.

Bradford NHS Trust invested £450,000 to create a more calming space to influence patient behaviour. This was achieved by providing memory boxes by each bed, into which patients place a personal object they can remember, the introduction of a reminiscence cafe, new colourful surroundings, and picture slide frames, backlit with LED lighting, which feature images from the Yorkshire Film Archive including families at the seaside and well-known local landmarks.