When the ACCORD Hospice in Paisley, Scotland, needed to modernise its Inpatient Unit, which offers specialist palliative and end-of-life care for people with complex needs along with support facilities for their families, the uppermost driving factors were infection control, comfort and aesthetics.
The resulting £1.1m refurbishment project has transformed and upgraded the facility bringing a fresh, contemporary feel to what was an outdated 20th century building. This was achieved by implementing thoughtful, holistic design processes and utilising products that both enhance the building and promote patient well-being. Amongst the high-performance products chosen was Gerflor’s Taralay Impression Control vinyl safety flooring which added an attractive appearance, hygienic qualities and carpet-like impression to the main corridor, lounge, offices and circulation areas, whilst 19db Taralay Impression Comfort provided extra sound insulation within the bedrooms.
Rather than re-build the Hospice, the building was re-configured within the existing walls and refurbished internally. The new ACCORD Hospice Inpatient Unit now comprises eight single rooms with en-suite wet rooms and space for families staying overnight. Previously some rooms were shared-occupancy and none had en-suite facilities. The rooms also have patios opening to communal gardens which maximise natural light and unite indoor and outdoor areas. Most importantly, the nurses’ station has been repositioned to an improved, central location.
As a result, the Hospice has a better physical environment in which to care for the changes in its patient group, which has become more complex and dependent as people now live longer with diseases like cancer and neurological conditions.
“We ticked all the boxes and have achieved value for money,” said Helen Simpson, Chief Executive, ACCORD Hospice. “Following the building works we looked for furnishings and floorings to complement the changed environment. For the corridor we wanted something that felt like carpet but had a hygienic element: we are delighted, it is stunning. People come in and say, ‘what a beautiful carpet’ and we say, ‘it’s not carpet it’s vinyl flooring’.
Gerflor’s Taralay Impression Control is an HSE 36+ / R11 slip resistant, hardwearing safety flooring with a 0.7mm PVC wearlayer in multiple wood and design options which is ideal for healthcare environments. Its hygienic UV cured PUR treatment is coupled with a revolutionary Protecsol® Control surface treatment for easy cleaning and maintenance without polishing for the entire lifetime of the product.
“The flooring’s surface and bacteriostat treatments were important to us as a healthcare facility,” said Helen Simpson. “We have patients with compromised immune systems and needed to ensure that the clinical standards behind the ‘look’ of the flooring were appropriate. Thankfully we have never generated outbreaks of infections like MRSA and C.Difficile but we regularly admit people who may have hospital acquired infections like these and we need to put universal precautions in place. Gerflor’s flooring is also so much easier to clean and maintain than carpets from a housekeeping viewpoint, there is no need any longer to shampoo carpets as they have been replaced.
For both aesthetical and clinical driven reasons, the Hospice chose to cove the skirtings where the flooring meets the walls so that all sharp edges and blind corners where dust and dirt could build up from an infection control perspective, were eliminated. This provided added value for the facility and its staff, visitors and also patients.
In addition to the above, it was Gerflor’s Taralay Impression’s design and colour combinations that inspired both project architect Janet Cameron of McLean Architects and the Hospice team involved in the refurbishment. Consequently, Helensburgh Floorplan installed 400 sqm of Taralay Impression Control in Silk with a contrasting feature border in Modena to the corridor. Plus, approximately 350 sqm of Taralay Impression Comfort in colours Brescia and Genova to the bedrooms: 19db sound insulated Taralay Impression Comfort is an extra thick (3.35mm), R10 slip resistant flooring with high indentation properties (0.11mm) in a mix of innovative designs and colours. It is ideal for medium traffic areas where an acoustic flooring with good looks, added cushioned comfort and excellent indentation are required. It also benefits from a Protecsol® 2 surface treatment for easy maintenance and hygiene.
“The choice of colour was really important,” said Janet Cameron, Mclean Architects. “The hospice wanted the interior to be bright and vibrant to boost both the patient and working environment. Bold orange and green accent colours were selected for feature walls that were complemented by the soft, grey dementia-friendly tones of Gerflor’s floorings resulting in a decorative and functional interior. We also used shape and colour in the main corridor to define an informal seating area by incorporating a half-circle in Modena and introducing soft furnishings.”
The success of the refurbished Inpatient Unit has been echoed by the great feedback received from patients, families, staff, volunteers and supporters. No longer institutional but homely yet functional, it performs at all levels including the flooring. Joe Hutchinson, Managing Director, Helensburgh Floorplan, said: “It was an outstanding project, the installation has a superb finish and everyone is delighted with the final result.”
“The flooring has 100% delivered,” said Helen Simpson. “The corridor flooring brings the Unit together taking people from one side of the ward to the other and to the bedrooms. It’s not just something you put on the floor, it identifies the space and works with the aesthetics of the building in bringing the corridor alive.”
“We are also pleased with how the bedroom flooring complements the rooms. Plus, it is warm underfoot with a level of cushioning that has acoustic benefits beyond our expectations, providing us with an unexpected bonus!”
“People understand that the improved facility doesn’t affect the standard of care but it affects the environment in which the care is delivered. We believe we now have an Inpatient Unit fit for the future.” concluded Helen Simpson.