Critical Care Project


Our £12.5 million Critical Care Campaign was launched in 2017 to transform our Adult and Neonatal Intensive Care Units at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Overwhelming support from our friends, partners and the local community means we have reached our fundraising target in just two years.

Phase one of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is now complete

The first phase of a significant expansion and redevelopment of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is now complete. Babies are now being treated in the state-of-the-art Intensive Care Unit which features the latest technology and equipment, bespoke furnishing, specialist lighting and a 40% increase in space. The final expansion – due to be complete early 2021 – will mean the hospital can provide life-saving care to 1,000 babies each year.

This new unit was part-funded by generous charitable support from the Khoo Teck Puat UK Foundation and the Reuben Foundation to our Critical Care Campaign. The £12.5 million Campaign was launched to completely transform the adult and neonatal intensive care units at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Together with the Trust, we are creating world-class intensive care units that optimise the healing environment for patients and families.

The design of the new NICU has considered the needs of the babies and their families, as well as the staff and clinical teams. Staff have access to the latest technology and equipment to help facilitate the best healing conditions for the babies. This includes adaptive circadian rhythm lighting: artificial light that matches the needs of human biological cycles and which can be individualised for each baby.

Parents can now relax in a comfortable, specific family room which also caters for young siblings. The furnishings are modern and stylish but also comfortable and practical. The overall layout of the unit was co-designed with parents who can often spend many weeks in the unit. Cot spaces can be private if desired but are also part of a larger shared nursery space, so that parents can seek support from one another, which they said they found very valuable.

“I am thrilled with the way that Phase One of the new unit has turned out. It will allow us to deliver world-class intensive care in high tech facilities. It’s great to see the babies in the new unit.

Mark Thomas, Consultant Neonatologist and Clinical Lead for NICU Redevelopment

The Critical Care Project is well underway to transform and redevelop both our adult and neonatal Intensive Care Units. Once the project is complete, the capacity of the adult ICU will increase by 45%, enabling us to care for an additional 500 adult patients per annum.

This patient focused environment will transform our care and patient experience at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The new, innovative model of care and world-class environment will improve clinical outcomes, reduce costs, improve efficiency and reduce risks for our patients. Once complete, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital will house one of the leading Critical Care services in the UK, influencing NHS guidelines and best practice nationally and beyond.

We are leading on several new research projects within ICU which will subsequently continue into the new units. We hope they will serve to enhance the quality of care that our clinical practitioners can provide. A number of these research projects are studying the high incidence of delirium and acute confusion on Intensive Care units, aiming to dramatically improve the ways in which delirium is diagnosed and treated. This includes state-of-the-art, non-invasive eye tracking technology and the use of Virtual Reality (VR) to improve quality of sleep for patients.

Contractors McLaughlin & Harvey Limited have been selected for the redevelopment of the Intensive Care Units at Chelsea and Westminster. They are specialists in large scale healthcare projects, which have included King’s College Hospital and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

The Aitken’s Story

Jane and Peter Aitken had first-hand experience of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital with the birth of their daughter Alex. Born at just 26 weeks, Alex needed urgent care from specialist doctors and nurses on the Unit. Now aged 20, Alex is thriving and the Aitken family have come back to Chelsea and Westminster to revisit the Unit that saved her life. The Aitken’s were also able to personally see the ongoing redevelopment of the Unit as part of our Critical Care Campaign, which they have so kindly supported.