Completed projects

Mermaid Centre – Equipment Upgrade

A year-long project to replace all three mammography scanners.

  • Assistant Project Manager: James Angliss
  • Start date: October 2022
  • Completion date: October 2023
A patient and staff consultation next to mammography scanner

The Mermaid Centre went through a 12-month equipment replacement and upgrade which completed on time and under budget in October 2023.  All three mammography scanners were replaced sequentially with new and ultra-modern equipment. This also meant that additional work had to take place to upgrade power supplies and ventilation systems.  Additionally, inside, some of the space within the Mermaid Centre was reconfigured to provide an additional ultrasound room,  new and improved reporting and viewing rooms, and improved staff facilities.

Throughout the project, a mobile scanner located in the Mermaid car park ensured service continuity and clinical capacity.  The result is that the Mermaid Centre is now fit for purpose for many years to come.  

Find out more: clink on the link to watch the Mermaid Project film.

Critical Care Healing Garden

A healing and sensory garden for critically ill patients to experience nature and the outdoors as part of their recovery. The garden has been created entirely through charitable donations and fundraising.

  • Project Manager: Rob Hague
  • Start date: February 2023
  • Completion date: September 2023
The critical care garden: showing trees and a bridge within

A stunning and award-winning Healing Garden for the Critical Care Unit has been created, funded entirely by charitable donation, following a magnificent fundraising campaign led by the renowned explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison and his wife Louella. Robin, who lives in Cornwall, believes that the Healing Garden at University Hospitals Plymouth saved his life after he contracted Covid-19 right at the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

He feels so strongly about the life saving power of nature and the benefits provided by hospital healing gardens, that he’d like to see a dedicated therapeutic garden in every hospital in the UK – starting with RCHT, here in Cornwall. You can watch Robin’s incredibly moving story of recovery here.

The positive clinical impact of hospital healing gardens is well known and, along with the Hanbury-Tenison’s fundraising campaign, Critical Care Staff Nurse Kym Vigus has long campaigned to create a Healing Garden for critically ill patients at the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

Working with the ideas of Critical Care staff and patients, landscape design company Lavigne Lonsdale, (and construction partner, Cormac) have created a beautiful but practical healing garden in a courtyard between Trelawny Wing and the Emergency Department. This therapeutic space is immediately below the Critical Care Unit to allow the best possible access for critically ill patients and their families and carers.

Within the garden, there is space for up to two hospital beds for patients to be supported by Critical Care Unit therapists, nurses, medical staff and families and carers. It is also among the first critical care gardens in hospitals in England where medical gasses are piped directly to the garden. This enables patients to stay in the garden for longer that would be possible with a bottled medical gas supply.

As well as providing a space for quiet reflection, the garden has also been filled with nature: plants of all textures and heights to bring fragrance, touch and sounds to the patient’s bedside. All the plants have been carefully curated by gardening experts around Cornwall to be evergreen as well as seasonal, and to provide some privacy and canopy protection. Bird sculptures by famous Cornish artist, Kurt Jackson, form the centrepiece together with therapy and rehabilitation areas of help patients on the road to recovery, and beautiful tables and benches for staff and family members to enjoy.  

Within a week of the garden opening in September 2023, it won a PENNA (Patient Experience Network National Award) in the Environment of Care category.

Watch the BBC Spotlight coverage of the opening of the Critical Care Healing Garden.

MRI and Oncology Unit – New Build

MRI Scanning Suite and acute Haematology and Oncology services.

  • Project Managers: Lewis Saundry and Ed Callaghan
  • Start date: June 2020
  • Completion date: May 2023
An aerial shot of the new MRI/Oncology building
Photo credit: Tim Pestridge

The new MRI Suite and Haematology and Oncology Unit opened in May 2023, on time and on budget.  Located adjacent to, and accessed via, the Trelawny Wing Main Entrance, this new 3-storey building is home to the Trelawny Scanning suite, Lowen Ward and an ambulatory emergency day care unit for oncology patients. 

Two state-of-the-art Philips MRI scanners have been installed (with room for a third), complete with ambient experiences and special visual effects designed to keep patients calm during their treatments.  The ground floor is also home to four ultrasound rooms, consultant rooms, and a dedicated in-bed waiting area. The new building allows the relocation of existing MRI services to a purpose-built unit on the lower ground floor. Co-locating the MRI scanners next to other Imaging services in Trelawny improves continuity of care and supports a more efficient Imaging workforce.

Lowen Ward is located on the first floor.  The ward has 24 beds (from 18 previously) in three 4-bedded rooms and 12 single ensuite rooms.  Eight of the rooms are individually ventilated to ensure the highest standards of care and infection prevention and control.  Additionally on the first floor is the Ambulatory Emergency Care Day Unit to support acute oncology patients, a palliative care suite with a safe and private sensory courtyard garden, and an Iodine Therapy Suite used for specialist treatment.

The plant room is located across the entire second floor.  Outside, a shrubbery has been introduced along with a bug hotel and garden.

Enjoy a virtual 3D tour of the new MRI and Oncology Unit, now known as the Trelawny Scanning Suite and new Lowen Ward:

Penventinnie Lane Houses demolition

The first enabling project for the Women and Children’s Hospital.

  • Project Managers: Ed Callaghan, Rob Hague
  • Start date: February 2023
  • Completion date: April 2023
The demolition of a house on Penventinnie Lane

This was the first enabling project to be completed for the Women and Children’s Hospital programme. It was completed on time and on budget.  The area created by the demolition will form the constructors’ compound for when construction on the Women and Children’s Hospital begins in 2025.  

Trees will be planted in the garden area behind the compound.  The Magnolia memorial tree remains in place and is being well looked after. Also planted nearby is a Hazel, marking the Diamond Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II, and kindly donated by the Duchy of Cornwall.

Click on the link to watch the time-lapse film of the demolition.

Tremenel Unit, incorporating Wheal Vor Ward

A relocation ward block to provide flexible space for the temporary relocation of services, and a permanent home for the Patient Blood Management Service.

  • Project Managers: Ed Callaghan, Rob Hague
  • Start date: October 2020
  • Completion date: March 2022
Overview of a bay at Tremenel Unit, which is incorporating Wheal Vor Ward
Overview of a bay at Tremenel Unit

The Tremenel Unit (previously known as the Progressive Recovery Unit when under construction) opened in two phases. Initially, the first floor was opened as Wheal Vor Ward in December 2021, and then in November 2022, the ground floor of the Tremenel Unit was fully opened.

The Unit is dedicated to providing additional temporary relocation space for wards and services displaced during the long-term reconfiguration of the Treliske Hospital site. A number of services will need to move to make way for the new Women and Children’s Hospital, one of the Government’s ‘40 New Hospitals’ being built under the national New Hospital Programme.

Wheal Vor Ward on the upper floor is home to wards needing to temporarily decant from other areas of the hospital.  On the ground floor, Tremenel Unit now also provides a permanent home for Patient Blood Management Services and the Frailty Same Day Emergency Care Ward.

The Link Corridor, where Lowen Ward was previously located, will be demolished eventually to make way for the Women and Children’s Hospital.

Sunrise Centre – CT Scanner Replacement

The replacement of a radiotherapy CT scanner and associated room improvements.

  • Project Manager: Paul Lariat
  • Start date: October 2021
  • Completion date: November 2022
A scanner in the Sunrise unit with sky imagery on the ceiling

The Sunrise Centre opened its newly-kitted out CT scanning room in November 2022, following the installation of a brand new “Big Bore” Radiotherapy scanner and a three-month refit of the CT scanning and control rooms.

It is the only CT scanner in Cornwall dedicated to planned radiotherapy treatments for cancer patients across the county. All radiotherapy referrals in Cornwall lead to the Sunrise Centre and the “Big Bore” where, after a high-precision CT scan, patients are provided with a comprehensive, accurate treatment plan.

The new state-of-the-art CT scanner, provided by Philips, offers superb imaging and simulation solutions, to significantly enhance both patient and clinical experience.

As part of the refit, the new CT scanning room was fitted out with a back-lit virtual skylight and coloured room lighting to improve the patient experience, following a successful bid to the Sunrise Appeal. Additionally, the CT control room next door received a refresh and re-design to improve the staff environment.

CT 2 Scanner Replacement

A state-of-the-art CT scanner is installed in Trelawny Wing.

  • Project Manager: Paul Lariat
  • Start date: January 2022
  • Completion date: June 2022
The opening of the CT scanner

A new CT scanner was installed in Trelawny Wing’s CT2 imaging room, (now part of the Trelawny Scanning Department) in June 2022 by GE Healthcare. This replacement project brought the most modern CT scanner to RCHT, capable of introducing new scanning techniques such as CT guided tumour ablation. It’s highly rapid cardiac CT scanning capability also reduces movement artefact and provides improved diagnostic images.

Alongside the replacement of the CT scanner, a new ventilation system was installed on one side of the Japanese courtyard garden, capable of 10 air changes per hour, together with a new medical gas system and Category 5 lead-lining to the doors and walls.  The CT room and preparation room were also refitted.

Children’s Garden of Freedom

A new garden for young hospital patients and their families to enjoy.

  • Project Managers: Paul Lariat, Kristy De Robeck
  • Start date: January 2022
  • Completion date: May 2022
Mural showing a forest scene with fox and deer at the Garden of Freedom at the Royal Cornwall Hospital
Mural at the Garden of Freedom

The new Play for Life Garden, now known as the Garden of Freedom, has replaced the original children’s garden and play area on the Treliske Hospital site. This garden was removed in 2020 to make way for the construction of the Tremenel Unit.

The new garden is located behind Wheal Prosper Ward and adjacent to the new Impact building (behind the Princess Alexandra Wing). This is a quiet, safe area, away from traffic and yet only a short walk from the maternity and paediatric wards. Innovative and playful signage has been put in place to help patients and their families and carers locate this new space.

The new garden, designed by local company Earth Wright Ltd, has been specially created for children and their parents, families, and carers to enjoy during treatment, or whilst visiting, the Royal Cornwall Hospital.

The design has had input from the Trust’s specialist play team, families, and patients, and considers the accessibility and sensory needs of young people. It also provides a wonderful space for exploration and play. Displaying more than 200 plants, shrubs, herbs and trees, the area has begun to fill with natural insect wildlife. A play hut sits at the heart of the garden and allows children of all abilities to become immersed in their imagination as they play.

The children’s garden is also a triumph of local community spirit. Adding to the garden are two community-based projects providing exciting items for the children to find.

Kier Construction worked in partnership with Cornwall College in Camborne, whose students, supported by their tutors, have created a wonderful colour-pencil-themed bench and some stunning objects of interest including bug hotels, metal insects and decorative copper hanging items across the garden area. Kier also worked to clear and prepare parts of the garden for painting.

Cornish fashion company Seasalt have designed and created an enchanted woodland-themed mural on the wall facing into the garden, which brings to life creatures such as stags, foxes, rabbits and owls, alongside secret fairy houses that are situated along a winding path for children to discover.

Other donations were made by SJ Andrews of Redruth who provided materials given to the Cornwall College students; SeeTech, who painted the garden’s large fence panels and beams; Kier (again) for providing panel painting materials, and Gloweth Ltd of Truro for donating all the paint for Seasalt to create the mural.

A successful fundraising campaign has already facilitated the addition of a basket swing and wall games, which can be enjoyed by the children. More specialist and accessible play equipment will be added as further fundraising allows.

Anyone wishing to donate to the children’s garden fundraising appeal for play equipment can do so via: or by scanning the QR code below:

QR code for the Children's Garden JustGiving page

Hospital staff, and residents in the nearby staff accommodation, will also be able to enjoy the garden when it is not in use by patients and their families and carers.

Emergency Department Expansion

An extension and refurbishment of the Resuscitation Unit and Rapid Assessment and Treatment Unit (RATs).

  • Project Managers: Laurence Jenkin and Paul Lariat
  • Start date: June 2020
  • Completion date: May 2021
Emergency Department Rapid Assessment Treatment Unit entrance

A new, spacious and modern Resuscitation Unit opened to patients in November 2020 providing the Emergency Department (ED) team with high-quality, hi-tech facilities in which to care for patients with the most acute and life-threatening conditions.

With four bays and two isolation cubicles, the brand new single-storey unit is a significant improvement on the smaller original unit built in the early 1990s. The extra physical accommodation provides space for clinical staff to work quickly and effectively in busy times, particularly during winters, summer holiday surges and, in recent times, local surges in coronavirus cases.

In early May 2021, the next phase of the Emergency Department expansion work was completed on time and on budget, and the Rapid Assessment and Treatment area (RATs) was officially opened.

Emergency Department Rapid Assessment Treatment Unit bay
Emergency Department Rapid Assessment Treatment Unit corridor

The RATs area is where patients first arrive when brought in by ambulance. They are met by experienced nursing staff who conduct rapid investigations prior to the patient being reviewed by the doctor.

The RATs area has 4 treatment bays, and is a purpose-built, dedicated facility where staff can operate swiftly safely to deliver a much better patient experience.

Page last reviewed: 31 January 2024

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