Flagship respiratory unit showcases new design approach


Lane Fox Respiratory Centre at East Surrey Hospital sets new precedent for healthcare architecture

A flagship new hospital development has opened in Surrey, showcasing a new approach to design that offers ward patients a view to the outside world.

In a move so far not achieved elsewhere in the UK, four-bedded bays at the Lane Fox Respiratory Centre at East Surrey Hospital offer every patient their own view of the surrounding landscape.

The design also includes specially-commissioned murals and takes advantage of the woodland setting through the use of natural light to create a more-therapeutic environment.

The facility is a satellite centre to the world-renowned Lane Fox unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Designed by Murphy Philipps Architects, the inpatient unit supports a revolutionary model of care for patients with complex respiratory conditions.

Known as the REMEO centre – translated as ‘I return home’ in Latin – it is an innovative private-public venture between BOC Healthcare Group, part of the Linde Group, and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

It allows clinical services to be delivered closer to patients’ homes and has been designed to optimise therapeutic benefits for patients and provide an exemplar workplace for staff.

The unit sits with the landscape adjacent to a protected area of ancient woodland on the borders of the East Surrey Hospital site. To take advantage of this, the building has been designed to be flooded with natural light, with monopitched roofs and high-level glazing allowing views of the surrounding landscape and outdoor terraces helping to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces.

To make the unit more homely and relaxing, artwork was commissioned from Lara Harwood, who create four large-scale murals. These form a continuous narrative, addressing themes of air and respiration, as well as the history of the unit’s sister centre in London.

The 1,850sq m facility was built by DD Porter and contains 20 beds in a mixture of single rooms and multi-bed bays. Each bedroom faces the woodland and the four-bed bay was designed with a highly-innovative layout where every bed cubicle has its own window.

The unit also benefits from cutting-edge technology, including virtual access to expert consultations. And a large rehabilitation space in the middle of the inpatient area opens onto a landscaped courtyard.

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Jana Schulte, the clinic’s business manager, said: “This partnership tackles the gap in the current healthcare system between meeting the needs of these patients and aiding their transition from hospital to home.”