Designed by Capita on behalf of UH Bristol, the new £4.95m Welcome Centre at the Bristol Royal Infirmary is one of the most innovative of its kind in the UK. The project included the redevelopment of the hospital’s tired and uninspiring main entrance, reception and waiting area along with the provision of approximately 875 sqm of retail space.
The project brought the reception desk, waiting area and information point to the front of the building - improved wayfinding and first impressions of the Trust and its facilities. The façade’s internal layout has been adapted to accommodate
the large open plan spaces required and has moved services and plant rooms away from the customer-facing areas and onto other levels.
The team assigned to this project worked on the concept, developing funding models, writing business cases, supporting stakeholder engagement and ultimately marketing and designing a highly viable scheme for over 14 months prior to construction. The marketing and lease agreements for the retail units were secured by the Capita team, including the pharmacy, the service provision for which was also procured by the Trust, with Capita support, via OJEU, in parallel to the development of the new facilities and aligned to the overall programme to ensure all units opened at the same time.
The main entrance was successfully completed at the end of 2013. It has been very well received by patients, visitors and staff being a significant improvement to the former main entrance, creating a first impression aligned to a high quality organisation, with way-finding now obvious and supporting a stress reducing journey, as the route to the main lifts and stairs passes by the quality, high street name, quality retail outlets. The funding model developed by Capita for the BRI sees all income from the retail outlets going back into the Trust's purse, in turn to be spent on (not a drain on) patient services.
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