The new NGS Macmillan Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital has provided a space for fragmented cancer services to come together, providing more efficient care for individuals suffering from the disease.
Designed by award-winning architecture and interiors practice, The Manser Practice, the state of the art unit is a transformation of the hospitals existing offer of on-site cancer services. The £10m purpose-built cancer unit is a dramatic improvement on the fragmented layout of treatment facilities.
From the get go, the design team have worked with a health planner, the clinical and estates teams, Macmillan and patients to enable them to create a care unit for patients based on their needs.
Guy Barlow, Joint Managing Director at The Manser Practice, said: “We consulted with staff and patients right from the very inception of the project to gain an understanding of what they wanted and needed from the space.”
The result is an uplifting and therapeutic design. The Manser Practice has considered the patients throughout the design; therefore the unit has a well-organised layout which takes into account patient journey, clinical time tabling and room occupancy, to make the unit as comfortable as possible. Drawing on their experience in the hotel and transport sectors, the architects were able to create a calm environment with simple wayfinding- an important aspect of any hospital unit.
The unit is split across two levels and accommodates all of the hospital’s core and support services in one easily accessible area. On the first floor there is a combined treatment room which provides uninterrupted views of the Derbyshire landscape. The treatment room links to the main hospital and supporting departments by a new glazed bridge.
“The treatment area has a calming nature where patients can sit comfortably and look out at the view while receiving their treatment. We have more than tripled the number of treatment chairs but, even at busier times, the treatment area remains peaceful, with plenty of space and natural light. It’s fantastic for the people of North Derbyshire.” Carly Starkey, Lead Chemotherapy Nurse at the NGS Macmillan Unit said.
On the ground floor, visitors will be greeted by the Macmillan Information and Support Centre which is an example of the hospital's holistic approach to treating patients in one unit.
The unit is one of the first buildings to be clad in Corian, which was selected for its malleable and robust qualities and its sleek look. The material enables artwork and detailing to be worked into the panels making it the perfect material to use both inside and outside the unit.
Throughout the design process, the architects worked closely with patients, staff, artists and designers to choose the best artwork to be displayed in the unit.
Elizabeth Devas, Capital Projects Design and Commissioning Officer at Macmillan Cancer Support, commented:
““Whilst Macmillan set great store by integrated art and design I think the integration of the art,
branding, interior design and architecture and landscape in this project has raised the bar for Macmillan projects.”