Sheffield PICU – a breath of fresh air for an old site

Refurbishment projects are always challenging. Dealing with a mixture of old infrastructure and an imperfect site can provide architects with something of a headache. However, the winners of our Refurbishment Project of the Year for 2016, P+HS Architects delivered an outstanding result and one with enough flexibility to cope with future changes of use.

Sheffield Health & Social Care NHS Foundation Trust wanted to upgrade and update the existing accommodation at their Longley Centre. It was cramped, offered little access to open space and was no longer adequate for those in need of psychiatric intensive care. The revised unit has ten bedrooms and accessible courtyard areas which permit safe levels of observation by unit staff. In addition, there is an occupational therapy room, a sensory room, a quiet room, lounges, and an activity room as well as office accommodation and staff facilities, all of which are contained within the unit.  Throughout, full consideration has been given to aesthetics and the therapeutic nature of the indoor spaces is enhanced with natural light and subtle patterns.

Attractive landscaping included new, defined routes into the unit, and smart choices of building materials have given the new unit a distinct character within the hospital site.


Years of a problem solved in three days


Clinical staff at Bradford District Care Trust’s Moorlands View Unit had an issue. The Thornton and Ilkley wards have lockable rooms, but old locks and hardware had left staff trying to manage bunches of keys and there were difficulties sourcing spares.

The trust’s estates manager decided to look for an alternative and approached MB Locking Logistic Group Ltd, who have extensive experience in providing specialist architectural hardware for mental health facilities. MB, in turn, contacted Primera Life who visited Moorlands View to look at possible solutions and suggested their PASSPORT proximity access control system.

This works with, fobs, cards, or wristbands, allowing service users to access their rooms without keys and without disturbing unit staff. But, crucially, it always allows staff to gain access in case of emergency or clinical need. The PASSPORT system is perfect for retrofitting and all locks on the wards were changed over within three days.

The Trust was delighted with the outcome. “The Primera product supplied by MB is already proving its value and has reduced downtime on the ward considerably. Primera and MB have been responsive to our needs and their products are of high quality with a level of detail that empathises with the user”.

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