Salus journal

Healthy Planet. Healthy People.

Healthcare / Facilities design

European Healthcare Design 2016

The New QEII Hospital – a local hospital for a garden city

By Peter Liddell 03 Aug 2016 0

The New QEII Hospital is a substantial re-provision of the existing hospital at the QEII site in Welwyn Garden City, bringing together existing and new services in a new purpose-built facility. The New QEII is part of a wider strategic estate and service reorganisation across the NHS in Hertfordshire, and is a major component of this process, as the existing building reaches the end of its useful life.


The strategic changes started with system-wide engagement and consultation in 2007. Patient and public engagement have been significant in helping deliver this £30m facility, as well as the £150m investment at the ‘sister’ site, the Lister Hospital, Stevenage, where there has been centralisation of specialist acute services. The contractual arrangements enable services to change as health service provision changes. Generic clinical rooms enable greater flexibility of use and provides for a wide range of services to be delivered locally to residents without the need to travel to the acute hospital.

This new building and the reorganisation of the local health system have provided the opportunity to deliver new models of care by integrating primary, acute and social care services. This project exemplifies the current reforms in the NHS and the emphasis in the ‘Five Year Forward View’ on integration and efficiency.

The New QEII accommodates a 24/7 urgent-care centre and a large diagnostic imaging department. A large outpatients department encompasses many existing clinical services on site. Other services include ambulatory care, medical day treatment, integrated children’s services, therapies, a breast clinic, and an endoscopy suite. The voluntary sector has been commissioned to provide support for visitors.

The New QEII is located on the existing hospital site and was built as part of a masterplan to deliver a sustainable development that supports the new hospital and future uses of the site. An exemplar of low-energy, sustainable design, achieving BREEAM Excellent, the New QEII is designed around the wellbeing of patients, integrating the work of several artists to add interest and human scale.

The design of the New QEII reflects the garden city ethos, with accommodation set around a large central courtyard and a series of gardens between the building and a mature hedge. The building is formed in three L-shaped wings defining the courtyard space, around which the main public circulation is arranged, allowing good daylight and legibility for wayfinding.

Organisations involved