When Starship Hospital’s DSU needed to be refreshed , Chow:Hill's Auckland studio collaborated with Auckland DHB on the re-creation.
Auckland District Health Board’s Starship Children’s Hospital plays a vital role in the healthcare of many New Zealand children and their families. The hospital is the leading provider of paediatric health care in New Zealand and the South Pacific.
At Chow:Hill, we have worked on a range of projects to enhance the working environment and facilities for Auckland District Health Board (ADHB) staff and services. Most recently, that extended to a refurbishment project of the Auckland DHB Starship Children’s Hospital Day Stay Unit. The project was made possible with funding from the Starship Foundation and the generosity of its supporters.
Recreating Starship's Day Stay Unit
The Day Stay Unit (DSU) is a key part of Starship Hospital, delivering care to a wide range of patient groups.
The unit offers medical and surgical specialties and continually evolves to meet the needs of patients and families. The original Day Stay Unit moved into Starship Hospital in 1991, so the time had come to update the physical environment and replan the unit’s layout to enable better patient flow and enhance communication between staff, families and patients.
Chow:Hill Auckland Director, Anner Chong, led the team engaged to be part of this re-creation. "Our team is aware of the care Starship Hospital and the Day Stay Unit provides, so we knew this project would shape the experiences many children and families have of their time in this facility. We also knew it was going to be a challenging project as we were constrained by the unit’s existing footprint, a tight budget and a tight programme," Anner explains.
Shaping Patient Experiences
To meet the needs of the many children and families who require the service of the DSU, the unit was decanted temporarily to another ward while construction took place.
But time was of the essence– the DSU needed to move back into their purpose-built facility before the winter peak season hit. “The DSU wanted to achieve better patient flow with their design and to create opportunities for communication and collaboration between all users of the facility – staff and patients,” says Anner. “With that in mind, we removed as many solid walls as possible. The central work zone is now open or partly enclosed with glass walls, which brings light into the deep plan. A user commented that families felt less anxious in the newly recreated space as they could now see the staff, which is a wonderful outcome to have achieved.”
Partnership for Service of Care
Auckland DHB also engaged New Zealand artist, Flox to prepare artwork to adorn walls within the Unit.
“Our interior designer, Amy Land, worked carefully to create a backdrop for Flox artwork which together ensured a lively and family friendly environment,” says Anner. “It was an extremely rewarding project to be tasked with and one the whole team enjoyed delivering. We were also thrilled to know that Auckland DHB thought the same.
One user of the Day Stay Unit commented:
“I think the impressive results are a testament to the dedication, creativity and collaborative problem-solving from everyone on the project team.”
More feedback from Auckland DHB facilities team indicated we had achieved the intent of the project:
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to all of you and your respective teams that put in a huge amount of effort to get us to where we are and made it an enjoyable process along the way.” ~ Auckland District Health Board.
"The whole process is testimony to our collaborative approach here at Chow:Hill," says Anner. "We listen, we design and it is a success."
July 19, 2019