Working together to shape the new hospital | Latest news

Working together to shape the new hospital

Design of front of new Whipps Cross

Between 2019 and 2021 a first set of designs for the new hospital were created. The plans were informed by the feedback from more than 200 meetings with staff, residents, patients and community groups.

Our initial designs are for a new Whipps Cross that provides 30% more clinical space to care for and treat patients. Spread over nine floors, related services and departments would be located close to one another to make the hospital easier to navigate for both staff and patients.

The emergency department would be located on the ground floor, with the outpatient department and imaging services above. This layout will enable us to provide separate outpatient and inpatient routes around the hospital.

The second floor would be home to operating theatres and critical care. Maternity services are due to be provided on the fourth floor, with direct access via lift from the ground floor.

Inpatient wards would be located on the upper floors of the hospital. At least 70% of beds will be located in single-occupancy rooms.

Number of beds in the new hospital

Our flexible designs for the new hospital would allow up to 600 overnight inpatient beds to be accommodated, should that prove necessary. This flexible approach would allow bed numbers to be scaled-up in the event of periods of particular operational pressure.

We are currently re-testing the assumptions that underpin proposed bed numbers for the new hospital - both overnight inpatient and day case spaces.

Refreshing our designs

To help guide our healthcare planners and architects, a document called a clinical and functional brief was put together following conversations with services across the current hospital. The document sets out an agreed set of requirements for the space and equipment that will be needed in the new hospital to provide high quality care decades into the future.

When design work on the new hospital was paused in 2021, there were a small number of issues that needed to be updated before we finalised our outline business case. These issues included:

  • how patients will move through the emergency department
  • clinical space requirements within outpatients
  • space requirements for medical education


Work re-started earlier this year with staff to address these outstanding issues and others. We expect this to be concluded later in the summer.

At the same time, we are assessing the alignment of our initial designs for the new Whipps Cross with the emerging Hospital 2.0 principles and standards. Hospital 2.0 is a standardised design for future hospitals that should reduce construction costs and decrease the average time to develop and build hospitals.

Scenarios being assessed include provision of 100% single bedrooms, as opposed to the approximate 70% in our initial designs; and 32-bedded wards, as opposed to the 28-bedded wards in our initial designs.

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