Award Winning In-Patient Unit for St David’s Hospice
St David’s Hospice Care incorporates a Consultant lead in-patient Hospice located at the site of the Newport Day Hospice in Malpas, Newport. The 15 bedded unit offers support for people who have complex symptom management needs, end of life care and sometimes respite care. Although the in-patient unit is located in Newport, patients are welcomed from Blaenau, Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen as well as Mid & South Powys.
In 1979, Heulwen Egerton MBE, a nurse tutor at Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital set up the ‘Gwent Hospice Project Group.’ The group was made up of like-minded individuals who were concerned at the lack of palliative care available to the people of Gwent. From their first year of operation, when St David’s cared for six patients, St David’s has grown to become one of the UK’s largest providers of hospice at home care, caring for over 3,200 patients and families every year.
The construction of the Hospice’s new in-patient unit started in January 2016 with the Welsh government investing £3 million into the new unit. A further grant of £500,000 was provided by the Big Lottery Fund with more funding coming from a range of other grant-making bodies. Newport City Council also played a big part in the project having donated the land on which the unit is built.
Work on the development was undertaken by contactors Andrew Scott Ltd and KKE Architects and was completed in March 2017.
Commenting on the work, Kyle Fowler, Architectural Technologist at KKE Architects said: “The project involved the construction of a new 15 bed in-patient unit (IPU) providing state-of-the-art facilities for patients. Including the construction of a link corridor to the existing day hospice building, landscaping has been used to define a rectangular landscaped quad creating a campus feel in the centre of the new and existing buildings.
“The GIA is 1,657sqm which is predominantly single storey. However being constructed on a hillside there is a smaller area of lower ground floor housing a laundry room, plant room, store room and link corridor connecting the new building to the existing day hospice.”
The building’s layout is designed to give optimal views and aspects for each of the individual patient bedrooms, which front onto a levelled garden area with impressive views towards the Brecon Beacons. The in-patient unit is run by St David’s Hospice Care (SDHC), working in partnership with the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Newport City Council.
The hospice cares for patients with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses such as motor neurone disease and end-stage heart failure. Therefore, the majority of the accommodation, along with support spaces are organised on one floor. The ground level has been carefully calculated and is retained with local stone gabions to create level access throughout and an outside terrace for the café.
Each bedroom has large bi-fold doors that allow the feeling of being outside, even for those too vulnerable to go fully outside.
Kyle added: “There are a number of interesting elements to the project. An external stone wall, which was sourced from a local quarry, weaves its way from outside the main entrance into the reception and café areas – this helps to guide visitors into the building. Part of the private bedroom terrace is suspended above the hillside (which falls away) and a frameless glass balustrade provides uninterrupted views from the patient’s bedrooms to the newly planted wildflower meadow and hills beyond.
“We’ve also framed the main entrance/café, secondary entrance and bay windows with chocolate coloured copper cladding which contrasts really well with the cedar shingle cladding on the building.”
Following its completion, the project was successful in winning a RIBA RSAW Welsh Architecture Award.
Commenting on the award, Kyle said: “We have previously won two RIBA Awards and been shortlisted for another two projects. We aim to provide the best environments possible for our clients and are proud of the recognition that comes with a nomination and/or an award.”
J S Lee was the landscape contractor on St David’s Hospice. Commenting on their involvement in the project, Jennie Thomas of J S Lee, said:
“We are very proud to have been involved in a project like this, which has been awarded so many accolades. The standard of our workmanship is always high and we take great pride in every project we are involved in.”