Northumbria Emergency Care Centre

Northumbria Emergency Care Centre

Northumbria Emergency Care Centre


Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Gardiner & Theobald


Paul Brayson


Completed 2015




29000 sqm







Health Business Awards - Recognising excellence in the provision of NHS facilities

Health Business Awards 2015
Hospital Building Award

centralised specialist emergency care for northumbria

The project consists of a stand-alone centralised Specialist Emergency Care Hospital serving the wide geographical area of the Trust. The Trust completes around 55,000 emergency in-patient episodes per annum and sees over 160,000 presentations to A&E.

Following a competitive interview, Keppie were appointed by the contract project manager Gardiner and Theobald (G&T) to undertake a Due Diligence review, with the other retained consultants, of the Stage C design developed by the architects Jonathan Bailey Associates UK Ltd.

Thereafter Keppie were appointed as Lead Consultant with support by the other consultants to provide a fully designed, fully co-ordinated and fully detailed design, including all production information as necessary, to facilitate the production of Bills of Quantities for a single stage selective tender process.

Although procured on a Design and Build contract, the Design Team (DT) were appointed by the Trust on the basis of providing full and final coordinated construction information at tender stage, to ensure cost certainty at contract award.

The hospital is located adjacent to Cramlington by population centre rather than geographic centre of the Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust area ranges from Berwick upon Tweed in the North to Hexham min the east. The original design for the hospital was carried out in isolation of the final choice of site.


Northumbria Emergency Care Centre
Northumbria Emergency Care Centre
Northumbria Emergency Care Centre

It is anticipated that 60,000 patients will be treated at the ECH. Services are focused around Accident and Emergency and supported by Radiology, Theatres, Critical Care, Maternity Delivery and a Special Care Baby Unit and eight 30-bed wards.

Wards provide Assessment, Cardiology, Gastrointestinal medicine, Surgical, Respiratory and Trauma services. Support accommodation includes a central Blood Sciences and Pathology department. A helipad is located close to the A&E department to enable emergency access by air ambulance. The ambulance drop off zone is located adjacent to the Accident and Emergency Department and provides space for 14 ambulances.

One of the main tasks in our appointment was to propose and co-ordinate an extensive programme of user and wider stakeholder consultations in order to develop the design in detail. Following approval of the Keppie  Programme – and in order to manage the progression of the design beyond the 1:200 departmental Stage D layouts – our team developed, with the Trust, a process of user group reviews and sign-offs. This three round user group review process commenced with a review of standard room types progressing to all non-standard rooms.

To enable the project team to achieve the intensive 1:50 user group review programme required by the Trust, Keppie developed a three-team structure, comprising of a team lead/client contact and two CAD support staff, to generate the 1:50 room layouts. Each team leader had departmental responsibilities to match their expertise in healthcare design.

A Keppie 1:50 Standard Rooms team was formed to generate the initial standard room types, of which we had identified approximately 25 different room types. Following the production of the 25 rooms and a review by the Trust, the list was reduced to 12, with the remainder being reviewed in the subsequent departmental user group reviews.

One of the key factors in our success in securing the project, was our experience of BIM, which was already being utilised by the other key members of the Design Team. The integration of Architectural, Structural and the MEP Revit models, allowed the team to progress and develop the co-ordination of the various design inputs at the rate required by the programme.

As BIM was absolutely key in the resolution of this process, in a building with very complex geometry, we decided early on to redraw all of the JBA Stage C electronic information in Autodesk Revit.