What you told us in our first Big Build survey: big ideas and more | Latest News

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What you told us in our first Big Build survey: big ideas and more

Our first Big Build online survey received 401 responses from staff, patients, caregivers and local residents, helping us to create a picture of what is important to you for the Big Build.

We heard from regular visitors to our sites but also from people who have never visited us, offering a different perspective. So what did they say?

Patients and families told us that they’d describe the current buildings as dated (51%), chaotic or confusing (14%) but also that they have character (27%). One of the responses really captures the themes we heard; “old fashioned but charming.”

The main building at the Children’s Hospital, was described as: “lovely Victorian architecture, but not as practical as a modern building.” It was repeatedly described as a “maze” with feelings of being enclosed. We heard about a lack of facilities, suitable toilets and access challenges for those with physical disabilities both at the Children’s and also the Women’s.

Less examples of charm were shared in the feedback on the Women’s Hospital. This site was often described as cramped, with concerns expressed about how the buildings would accommodate a growth in patients and families. Initial impressions are that the hospital is very “old-fashioned”, with these impressions not improving as you move around the “hard to navigate” site.

When asked how a building should feel, the top priorities that came out were: welcoming or positive (24%), safe or secure (20%), homely (18%) and modern (15%).

There were some great ‘big ideas’ for the proposed new buildings, including better connection between inside and out, along with a real consideration for how the buildings appeal to all of the senses. It’s also as clearly very important to you that the buildings are easily accessible, are inclusive and recognise the important role they play within the community. You challenged us to ensure the buildings themselves are not only fit for the future but are also sustainable, with real consideration for the impact they have on the environment.

The list of favourite buildings shared with us took us on a wonderful tour. There were lots of examples showcasing a fusion of old and new, geometric curves and careful consideration for materials. We saw that libraries are well loved, along with buildings that blend seamlessly with the wider environment. It was great to see hospitals inspiring you, as well as other examples of confident design that clearly made you take notice.

The most commonly used words to explain your chosen favourite building were: welcoming, spacious, bright, airy, personality and functional.

On the point of how our hospitals could make a difference for local residents, there were hopes that the facilities could be available to local communities and in particular providing a space for community groups to use.

Traffic and parking were two of the biggest worries shared with us, which is something we will work closely with local planners and site neighbours on. Storage and how the old and new will work together were also something that you wanted us to focus on. But the concerns that we heard about the loudest were the likelihood for delays impacting on both patients and the cost; which is at the forefront of our project plans.

The challenges of our existing buildings, along with worries and hopes for future buildings have been shared with the project and design team to build upon. We’re continuing to talk with our partners about the next steps and will keep you updated as plans progress.

Thank you for all of the feedback shared so far. If you didn’t get chance to respond to the survey, or would like to share any further thoughts or comments that you’d like us to hear then please get in touch. We’ve set up a feedback form for you to share your thoughts: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/bigbuild_feedback1/