Bradford Royal Infirmary

BAM has created a re-configured set of wards at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

This included re-locating the elderly patients into a new ward, creating a new children’s ward (where the elderly patients are now) and a new critical care unit.

Grouped in four-bed clusters, each room was designed for one-to-one specialist care, with switch-glass around two sides to provide high levels of infection control, privacy and dignity. 

The team had to integrate the new wing with the existing hospital and create a new main entrance with a retail corridor across the length of the development.

BAM also refurbished the existing front entrance and linked it to the new wing; all this while working around the live elderly patients ward.



Project details

  • Customer: NEC Group
  • Architect: Broadway Malyan
  • Quantity Surveyor: Broadway Malyan
  • Project Management: Novus
  • Structural Engineer: Rodgers Leaske
  • M&E Services Engineer: Hulley + Kirkwood
  • Value: £22 million

View related projects

600 Fact icon the tonnage of steel made up of 2,450 individual pieces
80 Fact icon Number additional beds being created
300 Fact icon Number doors that will be in use through the new development area

How was done?

The first challenge was the existing elderly patients’ ward, where BAM grafted the new wing. 

”It has meant close co-ordination with the NHS Trust,” says the Construction Manager Matthew Garnett, “to identify hot spots and strategic closures so we can maintain or access critical amenities. For example, there’s bed pressure for the elderly in winter.

“The critical care unit will be situated underneath this existing structure towards the end of the programme, but we needed to do significant drilling and clearance to commence.

“We knew there was rock in the ground across the plot that could not be excavated so we’ve broken this up and removed it. Thankfully that’s gone well.”

One of the team’s tasks was to align the level of the new wards, because the ground and floors were not even across the structure. A new roof has been installed over the existing ward, meaning BAM are literally working above it, beneath it (for the critical care unit) and to the side of it (for the new ward). Significant temporary works were needed to deal with this and tasks such as moving the water tanks. The existing ward has been de-clad and was re-clad in sympathy with the new ward, using modular Trespa panels.

Retail clients occupy the new ‘corridor’ that runs at ground floor across the new wing. “We simply delivered the shell for this; the client’s team is fitting it out. We’re using a hard-wearing Terrazzo tiling to the main concourse area.”

Crowning the development is a feature wall. “This is an impressive glazed canopy, with a circular revolving door and a three-storey high stone wall running through it. It’s going to look very striking.”

The stone elevation element of the feature wall, is also where the team installed the new staircase and lift shafts. This was clad to fit in with the traditional stone cladding of the 1930s building.

Working safely and considerately around a constrained live hospital site

Working around an existing ward with elderly patients has required the BAM team to be very adaptable. Matthew Garnet explains:

“We had to liaise very closely with the Trust because of the potential impact of noise, dust and vibration on the existing elderly patients whose ward we are literally building on top of, beside, and underneath.

“We assessed this in advance and used Lindapter fixings, which clamp onto the steelwork, reducing the need for drilling and vibration.”

“Apart from potential disruption, the privacy of the patients was something we looked at given the number of faces outside their windows. Although they have blinds, we were asked to apply a film across their windows so that the people working outside could not see in.”

“Because the site was bordered on three sides, access came from one direction only. The entrance was opposite the main car park so there were patients and staff walking across the perimeter of our operations and delivery area as construction vehicles arrived. This was potentially hazardous.

“We created walkways to steer pedestrians in the right direction safely and a temporary entrance for them too. We posted a man inside and a man outside the site, guiding deliveries and also helping to steer pedestrians and visitors away from potential hazards. Gates are locked unless admitting vehicles.

“We also created a tarmacked mini road to give our deliveries a safe drop off point and access to the works.”

Stakeholder enagement

We actively engaged with the hospital, holding weekly site tours for staff as well as regular progress tours for the Estates team. Our team also facilitated design workshops with the Trust and end users, focusing on colours, artwork, materials and furniture design. 

Through our specialist supply chain, BAM worked closely with the Trust to design an innovative daylight-emulating lighting system. It synchronises the patients’ body clocks with the natural rhythms of the day, which research shows aids the healing process.