Our Building Programme

Overview

The Major Capital Projects team leads RCHT’s Building and Infrastructure Programme. This programme of work covers all the major construction projects, and any associated hospital reconfiguration. It is also responsible for the replacement of high value equipment, as well as infrastructure works that need to be carried out as part of an overarching redevelopment of the site.

Aerial view of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro

These projects are supporting the transformation of healthcare in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly by:

  • Improving the patient experience with new, high-quality environments for the delivery of care
  • Improving clinical outcomes with modern, fit-for-purpose theatres, wards, diagnostic facilities, day-case units and support accommodation
  • Developing a modern, sustainable estate to deliver Cornwall’s Carbon Net Zero commitment
  • Addressing health inequalities by improving access to care and providing safe, welcoming and comforting buildings for patients, visitors and staff
  • Attracting and retaining talented and dedicated staff with the provision of state-of-the-art work spaces
  • Delivering a modern digital infrastructure to sustain a wide range of clinical and non-clinical technologies to boost efficiency and innovation in the Cornish health system
  • Aligning with local partners across all sectors to support local economic, sustainability and regeneration initiatives
  • This programme is funded through the Government’s New Hospital Programme, and the STP Wave 4 Funding stream.

If you’d like to get involved in any of our projects, please get in touch. Patient engagement and hearing from people with “lived experiences” are very important to us. Email: rcht.buildingprogramme@nhs.net.

Please see the ‘keep in touch’ section at the bottom of this page for ways you can stay updated or contact us.

Our projects

We have separated our projects into 2 sections, please access them via the link boxes below:

Parking and access – constraints during construction

Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro

When arriving at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, please be aware that there some current, and upcoming constraints around parking and access due to construction works.

Eye Unit, Tower Block, and Princess Alexandra Wing

There is no direct access to the Tower Block via the Main Tower Entrance at this time.  Parking in this area is reserved for patient transport services. 

Alternative routes are via the Link Corridor Entrance, and via the Eye Unit Entrance behind the Tower Block and to the east of the Emergency Department. (The Eye Unit entrance is well signposted as you approach the Tower area in a vehicle.)

There are additional short stay parking spaces, and drop-off zones along the short approach to the Eye Unit Entrance. 

There are eight accessible parking bays outside the front of the Princess Alexandra Wing. There are also a further six accessible parking bays in the small car park next to the Emergency Department, although at certain times – when ambulances are being held – these may be restricted temporarily.

The construction site compound within this parking area is being moved in January/February 2024 to provide further accessible parking options close to the Emergency Department.

Link Corridor

There is often a temporary mobile scanner located on the north side of the Link Corridor entrance across the accessible parking bays.  Alternative accessible parking for the Link Corridor entrance is located either on the south side of the Link Corridor in the area adjacent to the Emergency Department, or a few metres away from the north entrance to the Link Corridor, outside the Sunrise Centre.

Trelawny Wing and Dolphin House

Now that the new MRI and Oncology Unit has being constructed, parking bays and the drop-off zone outside the Trelawny entrance and Microbiology have been re-instated.  The nearest accessible parking bays can be found in the main Trelawny car park (Car Park 1) opposite the Trelawny Main Entrance.

Access to the car park next to Dolphin House has also been reinstated, including two accessible parking bays. Please note that a mobile scanner is now located next to Dolphin House taking up a handful of car parking spaces. This is a temporary measure whilst some construction work is being done outside the Link Corridor.  Should you not be able to park at Dolphin House, the nearest alternative is Car Park 3 (on the corner opposite the Microbiology Building).

Mermaid Centre

The Mermaid Centre project is now complete. In March 2024, the car park is to be relined to provide 5 fully compliant accessible parking bays and a drop-off zone. The car park will be closed for a few weeks while this work is carried out. If you need to find alternative parking, please use Car Park 3, across the road from the Microbiology Building, or try around the corner outside the Sunrise Centre.

Tenvennick Unit

There are two non-compliant accessible parking bays which have been allocated outside the Tenvennick MRI Unit.  There are no immediate alternatives if these are occupied.  Our recommendation would be to try to park in accessible parking areas outside ED and enter the hospital via the Link Corridor, or park in accessible bays in Car Park 1 at the front of Trelawny where wheelchairs can be borrowed.

Upcoming works – 2024 and beyond

This year, work begins on creating a new Pathology Building, next to the existing Microbiology building.  Enabling works for this will mean that much of Car Park 1A, including accessible parking, will be lost.  Some of the car park will be reinstated in 2026, once the build is complete.  It also means that road access into and out of the hospital will change.

Accessible parking spaces lost in Car Park 1A are being re-provided in Car Park 1C and will be suitably served so that those with mobility issues and concerns can maintain good access to the hospital.  Bus routes are also being reviewed.

Accessible Parking Hub – Car Park 1C

Work will start in February 2024 and complete by the end of March 2024 to create 50 new, fully compliant accessible car parking spaces in Car Park 1C. This is the car park diagonally opposite the Microbiology building. A fully accessible bus shelter is also planned as part of the works.

From 2026

From 2026, the Link Corridor will be demolished ahead of the construction of the Women and Children’s Hospital.  At this time, parking, drop-off and road access to the Link Corridor and the Eye Unit will no longer be possible. Plans are being drawn up to provide alternative solutions.

The long-term master plan for the Royal Cornwall Hospital is to locate the Main Entrance in the new Women and Children’s Hospital. The plan is to use the space that is created by the future demolition of the Princess Alexandra Wing for a multi-storey patient and visitor car park incorporating accessible parking spaces and a green travel hub.

West Cornwall Hospital, Penzance

Work has started at West Cornwall Hospital to build a new Outpatient block to the front (left) of the main entrance. This is due to complete at the end of March 2025. Access will be provided via the main entrance throughout the build, however all parking on site, accept accessible parking, has now been suspended until the construction is finished.  Accessible parking bays have been re-provided to the east of the entrance, by Therapies, and a new drop-off zone has been created close to the main entrance.

Regular parking for patients and visitors is available at St Erbyn’s car park, and Causewayhead Car Park, both approximately 200 m from the hospital entrance. Accessible parking at the back of the hospital (by the current Outpatient Department) will be maintained.

We ask all users of West Cornwall Hospital to respect the residents living in the immediate vicinity and not to park in such as way as to block driveways or indeed to impede their own parking requirements close to their homes.

St Michael’s Hospital, Hayle

St Michael’s Hospital currently has no building works obstructing the accessibility of its facilities.

Regular updates

You can find more information about temporary access limitations, and reprovisions, for each of the projects on the individual project pages.  Additionally, please follow us on social media where we regularly update information about short-term changes to access for all the new buildings and construction works.

If you wish to contact us regarding accessibility issues during the construction phases on any site at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, please email rcht.buildingprogramme@nhs.net.

Accessibility around our sites

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust has a broad and ambitious building and infrastructure programme spanning the next 7 to 8 years.

During the construction phases at our various sites, patients, staff and visitors will experience some disruption.

This may be particularly difficult when seeking to park a vehicle or when arriving at drop-off and pick-up zones. We apologise in advance for the inconvenience.

We update our hospital Site Maps twice a year to show the new buildings – planned, under construction and newly completed – and which also include the best arrangements for parking and vehicle drop-off associated with those areas of the sites. These maps can be found on their relevant hospital page below:

We know our sites are geographically challenged and already limited in terms of space, but we monitor the situation continuously in terms of accessible parking, and pedestrian and vehicle access. Where possible, we will publish advance warning of changes due to the construction works.

Some access and parking constraints may be for a matter of hours or days (for example, to lay cables); other changes are much longer term as they are due to a whole construction project taking over new space on the hospital site. In addition, we need to provide site accommodation for the construction workers and maintain our diagnostic scanner parking spaces on level ground close to hospital buildings.

Where we are forced to remove amenities, we will do our very best to replace them, or reinstate them as soon as we possibly can.

Our project management and construction teams work closely with a range of accessibility and architectural design consultants, community groups and individual patients and visitors to hear first-hand the lived experience of our stakeholders and to ensure that disruption is minimised every step of the way. You will find more information about temporary access limitations, and reprovisions, for each of the individual projects below. We also work with our patient-led Accessibility Advisory Group to discuss the best options for accessible parking and transportation, both temporary and long term.

We are committed to re-providing accessible parking bays wherever possible, within the physical and planning constraints of the site itself; and we are continuing to review options to provide suitable temporary solutions for patients, carers, staff and visitors whilst the construction projects are in progress.

For further information and practical advice, please go our Practical Help and Advice page.

If you wish to contact us regarding accessibility issues during the construction phases on any site at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, please email rcht.buildingprogramme@nhs.net.


A digital estate and SMART hospital

Alongside our extensive building programme, the Major Capital Projects team is also developing a Digital Estates Strategy which includes the implementation of some SMART hospital technology.

A smart hospital uses data and technology to accelerate and enhance the work healthcare professionals and hospital management are already doing, such as tracking hospital bed occupancy, managing their estates improvement programme, monitoring patients’ vital signs and analysing radiology scans.

Three current workstreams being undertaken the Major Capital Projects team include:

  • Building Information Management
  • Digital Wayfinding
  • Mobile and Wearable Technology (Silent Hospital Pilot)

More information about each of these can be found below.


Building Information Management

Project manager: Adrian Rapson

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now being implemented in support of the new Women and Children’s Hospital, as well as other major projects at RCHT.

BIM is a framework of processes that allows the effective collection, sharing, analysis and reporting of data related to the design, build and operation of an estate and its assets.

RCHT will be using BIM during the design and construction of the new Women and Children’s Hospital to enable a collaborative design process between professionals in the construction industry and expert clinical stakeholders.

Throughout the construction phase, BIM processes will help identify potential errors or “clashes” as the design becomes reality.

With new modern methods of construction being championed, the collaborative and data rich environment provided by BIM presents opportunities such as deploying wearable technology amongst site operators to monitor the building progress, as well as positively monitoring and improving workers health and wellbeing.

The adoption of BIM throughout the Women and Children’s Hospital Programme will assist in ensuring there is minimal waste, high quality modern construction, help alleviate project delays through collaboration, provide a framework to significantly reduce information errors and give accurate information to the RCHT teams at the point of handover and operation.


Digital Wayfinding

Project manager: Adrian Rapson

The Digital Wayfinding project at RCHT is exploring ways to improve the experience of patients, staff and visitors at RCHT when they attend the hospital. Although physical signage and wayfinding is updated every 6 months, many still find it difficult to navigate their way around. This can make patients late for (or even miss) appointments, or anxious when they arrive, and this has a knock on effect in terms of how efficient our clinics run. A digital wayfinding solution will provide patients and staff with a real time smart solution to find departments and wards, helping to reduce stress and ensuring better efficiencies. 

A Proof of Concept will be carried out by a small team of staff and patients in early 2024 to demonstrate its feasibility which, if proved successful will be worked up into a business case for wider implementation in line with the new Women and Children’s Hospital Programme. 


Silent Hospital Pilot

Project manager: Adrian Rapson

The “Silent Hospital” evaluation project is underway to reduce noise levels on Wheal Fortune Ward, our post-natal ward. The project seeks to silence patient call bells by driving the alerts to mobile phones carried by midwives and nursing staff. It forms part of the Women and Children’s Hospital digital strategy. If successful, this would be rolled out within the new hospital at RCHT and beyond.

RCHT is working alongside Scandinavian Healthcare Software company DNV Imatis, UK engineering company TClarke and the University of Plymouth’s Centre for Health Technology to introduce a digital integration platform and software suite on Wheal Fortune.  It is hoped that patients and staff will benefit from a quieter and calmer environment on the ward, and allow staff to identify and respond to the needs of patients more efficiently and in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The pilot will start in December 2023 until June 2024, after which a robust evaluation will take place.

Find out more about this project following the first workshop to take place in 2022. Smart Hospitals Workshop (vimeo.com)


Biodiversity and sustainability

Bio-diversity champion: Rob Hague

Trees planted at the Royal Cornwall Hospital

The Major Capital Projects team at RCHT takes its duties towards the environment and sustainable modern methods of construction seriously.  The team has an identified bio-diversity champion, Rob Hague.

The Major Capital Projects team is committed to:

  • Achieving an BREEAM Excellent or Outstanding rating on all new builds
    (BRREAM is Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method)
  • Complying with the NHS Net Zero Carbon Design Standards
  • Embedding sustainability within the core objectives of our major capital projects

Examples include prioritising sustainable designs and modern methods of construction, utilising renewables and decarbonised waste management, planting trees, creating new habitats gardens and wild areas to deliver biodiversity net gain, and using local (sub)contractors and locally sourced materials wherever possible.

Within the team, our biodiversity champion ensures that all the projects deliver a “Biodiversity Net Gain” of at least 10%, which is required by law (from January 2024) – although Cornwall Council already makes this a requirement of all planning applications. 

The Biodiversity Net Gain initiative, together our approach to sustainable construction will help RCHT reach its target of achieving net zero by 2030.  

Find out more about the Green Plan for the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Health and Care Partnership 2021.


Keep in touch

If you would like to receive occasional newsletters about our building programme, please use the link below to sign up. We promise your details will be kept safe and will not be shared, and if you decide it’s not for you, you can unsubscribe at any time.  

If you’d like to be proactively involved as a patient representative, please email us at rcht.buildingprogramme@nhs.net.

You can also follow us on social media where we regularly update information about short-term changes to access for all the new buildings and construction works:

#BuildingForOutstandingCare

Page last reviewed: 19 January 2024

Alert: Industrial action

Industrial action by junior doctors is expected to take place this week, from 7am on Saturday See our news article for more information.

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