This one has been in the pipeline since 2018, I first made a visit to take sizes and develop a proposal and designs for a main reception counter, a nurse/staff base for the ambulance entrance and nurse/staff bases for the A&E wards. Various ideas were thrown around to come up with functional, aesthetically pleasing and space saving ideas for all items. Always a tricky one but never impossible.
I went away and drew up some designs and proposals and issued them with costings for each. There were plenty of decisions to be made so I wasn’t expecting a quick response, also the project was in its planning stage so I put it on the back burner and focused on everything else we had going on 3 years ago.
Quite a bit of time past and we heard very little except in passing conversation with the trust who assured us that it will be going ahead but not sure when. All we could do was just say we would be ready when they are.
2020 came in (excuse the term) like a wrecking ball and aside from the furlough and close down we were busier than ever and I was called in again to look at A&E, this time with a smaller scope but still a decent sized job. They had omitted the reception desk parts but the rest remained in the plan, however, A&E was under new management and there were some new ideas, in my opinion much better idea’s so I was pumped to make it happen. So after a meeting on site I went away again and drew up some very different design proposals.
Unfortunately the project was put on the back burner again, totally understandable as it is a very hectic functioning area of the hospital that can’t just be closed down or reduced while alteration works take place. So we focused on producing some other items for the hospital, including some pigeon hole units and nurse base alterations.
2021 arrived and conversations were being had about getting A&E done, but there were new ideas and requirements, so I made a site visit where we talked everything through and discussed what was needed and what wasn’t. It was important to include some file storage in the unit, we had already included drawers in the front of a nurse base in the Aylesford Unit at Warwick hospital, so I pulled up a photo on my laptop and they were sold, they wanted that!
I went away again and drew it up.
Third time lucky, with designs approved, colours confirmed and costs agreed we got cracking!
Owen and Lee set about spinning templates for the circular tops and substrate formers while Danny worked out the configuration of all the drawers. We were working on quite a tight timescale with this one with quite a lot of work to do, there’s always more involved labour wise when the furniture has curves in it. Personally I prefer making or drawing curved items of furniture over straight pieces, not totally sure why, but my brain can compute diameters and radius’ much better than it can compute angles…….
Because of the shape you have to spin everything from a centre point and work backwards (or forwards depending on your process) from that point. In a nutshell when producing the templates you figure out your radius size and mark a centre point on a board. Then you take what is best described as a compass that has a powerful router fitted to the end and measure the size of your radius back from the edge of the cutter, (making sure you go from the correct side, if you go to the wrong side of the router cutter your top could end up being 12 or 18 mm to big or too small.) At this point you drill a hole through and fix to the centre point, then you’re good to go, using the router you plunge through cutting a perfect curve to the set radius. Once cut you then need to cut the edge parallel to the front edge so if it were a top that is 800 mm deep you would take 800 mm off of you radius size and measure from the edge of your cutter (the opposite edge this time) drill your hole and fix to the board at the centre point and repeat the cutting process. Then you have a perfectly curved top to the desired size. You then repeat this step using various radius’ to create the different sections you need (Counter substrate, plinths, writing shelves, DDA section substrates etc etc). Quite a time intensive process, but pretty damn fun!
The installation was to happen in two stages, the circular nurse base would be first and over the course of a week walls and cubicles would be stripped out, made tidy and safe, ceilings installed and electrics fitted, then our nurse base would be installed and then the decorators would move in.
Next would be the cubicles staff bases the two big ones shown in the drawing above which came off of a central column. the same scenario would happen, everything being sorted within a week time scale, planning was key and everything needed to be executed exactly when stated.
Despite the nature of the ward, the staff working in there were so incredibly patient with everything going on and were so happy and helpful towards us! This makes everything much easier and we were in and out in a flash leaving brand new fully functional sharp and clinical nurse bases in our wake!
3 years in the making, but definitely worth the wait, these new work stations will increase the functionality and efficiency of A&E at George Eliot Hospital! Obviously I hope you never get to see them, but if you do I hope you approve!!
Have a great weekend!