Facelift for hospital entrance aims to create more welcoming look
THE entrance to Bristol's main city centre hospital is set to be transformed to make it more welcoming to patients and visitors.
Planning permission has been given for the drab, grey entrance to Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) to be moved further down Upper Maudlin Street.
The 1970s extension to the BRI, which is known as the Queen's Building, would be extended out on to the paved area outside as part of the £5 million project.
The aim of the project is to move away from the "overbearing appearance" of the front of the hospital.
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A glass extension will be built to make the doorway lighter and its appearance will be brightened-up with the addition of green cladding, which is part of an artwork.
As well as improving the outside of the hospital the relocated entrance will make it easier for patients to find their way around the hospital with clearer routes around the building.
There will also be several retail units in the corridors, which may be used for a coffee shop, newsagent and bookseller, a gift shop or convenience store and a pharmacy.
The new entrance area, which the trust are calling a welcome centre, will also provide a more pleasant reception and waiting area.
Work on the new entrance will start this summer and is due to be completed by the end of 2013.
Robert Woolley, chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust which runs the hospital, said: "Altering the front entrance to our main hospital precinct has been something I have wanted to achieve for many years.
"I am delighted that we will finally have an outstanding, welcoming, bright entrance for the many hundreds of thousands of patients and visitors we care for each year."
Andy Headdon, strategic programme director for the trust said: "The front of the building will be built out towards the road with a two storey extension creating a new entrance near to where it is now.
"An entrance concourse will lead into the reception area where patients and visitors will have access to a range of facilities such as Patient Support and Complaints, pharmacy, a café and a food retailer.
"The clearer routes and well defined spaces will improve way-finding and orientation around the building."
Before submitting plans for the new entrance to Bristol City Council the trust spoke to hospital users and the local community to gain their views on the design and layout of the centre.
Tony Watkin, who leads public involvement for the trust, said: "The trust is really pleased to be working with members of the Bristol Physical Access Chain and other patients to make sure the design of the centre meets the access needs of all its potential users."