We were thrilled to win in two categories and be highly commended in a third at this year’s prestigious Building Better Healthcare Awards 2021, the national awards that celebrate the best in creating positive change within the healthcare sector.

  • We won Best Interior Design Project for the new, state-of-the-art intensive care unit (ICU) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
  • Our pioneering Arts in Health Virtual Connections programme won Best Collaborative Arts Project/Performance
  • Our CW Innovation project with the Trust and Sensyne Health came Highly Commended in the Best COVID-19 Technology Solution category for the AI algorithm that provides clinicians with near real-time risk prediction for COVID-19 patients, including predicting the risk of ICU admission, the need for mechanical ventilation and in-hospital mortality.

The world-class expansion of the ICU at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital was recognised in the Best Interior Design Project category for the creation of a first-of-its-kind patient-led approach to care, improving the recovery and wellbeing of patients. The new unit incorporates the latest innovations and digital solutions that can be personalised to reduce anxiety, pain and stress.  For example, one aim is to reduce the number of patients developing neuropsychiatric disorders, the most common being delirium, which can be found in up to 80% of ICU patients. The acoustics, lighting, layout and furnishing have also all been specifically selected for the patient’s brain, body and senses to rest and heal more effectively.

The patient-focused environment also includes media screens to enable patients to engage with our arts in health programme and stay in contact with family and friends, as well as noise-reducing equipment, and the latest sensor technologies to monitor patient progress and recovery. The build also includes a 110m2 adjacent indoor botanical Sky Garden – designed by award-winning landscape designer, Jinny Blom – which aims to bring the outdoors inside to support cognitive function, wellbeing, and the rehabilitation of ICU patients as well as a space for loved ones and staff.

The winning Best Collaborative Arts Project/Performance entry was the CW+ Arts for All: Virtual Connections programme, a digital arts project for patients and staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.  Virtual Connections was created in May 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic with the aim of reconnecting our team of resident artists to patients, staff and those self-isolating in the wider community to support their health and wellbeing with creative on-line workshop including mindfulness, creative movement, harp recitals and art history.

As artists begin to return to the hospitals, the Virtual Connections programme remains an important means of maintaining the connection between artists, patients and staff, and is also now being integrated into a new hybrid approach incorporating both in-person and online arts participation.  This innovative combination of live arts activities with telehealth technologies allows for wider participation and greater accessibility than ever before.

Trystan Hawkins, Director of Patient Environment at CW+, led on these award-winning projects and explains: “We are delighted to have won two categories at the Building Better Healthcare awards! The recognition of the Arts for All: Virtual Connections programme in 2020 is testament to the hard work of our dedicated team during the first national lockdown. In a challenging time, we produced a platform which benefits both our Trust’s patients and the wider community. The platform shows the strength of our participatory programmes and the partnerships with we have built with the artists and organisations. We would like to thank everyone involved.

“We are also extremely proud to have received an award for our recently opened ICU at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The development of this innovative unit was based on extensive research and we are constantly collecting and analysing data to evaluate the real impact of this extraordinary environment on patient recovery and wellbeing. Our aim is to build an optimum template of best-practice care to share nationally and beyond.”

The Building Better Healthcare Awards showcase innovation and improvement in the built environment and in medical device design, and celebrate the efforts of people working in the healthcare industry. Last night’s event celebrated winners from both 2020 and 2021 in a double celebration at The Brewery in London.