Recently the iconic Avenues Clinic embarked on a phased refurbishment and renovation project which will eventually see a hospital wide upgrade of all the wards. The first wards to be refurbished were the Maternity and Neo-Natal wards which have received a total makeover bringing it up to world class standards for efficiency and hygiene as well as for comfort and modern interior design styles. It’s designed to make patients feel at home and relaxed in surroundings with a touch of homely luxury. The perfect place to rest and recuperate.
The Avenues Clinic was established in 1983 marking this year as its 40th anniversary and it’s the flagship facility for the Medical Investments Limited group whose other strategic business units include Montagu Clinic and St Clements both on different properties but located within the Avenues area. St Clements Clinic focuses on cancer and chemotherapy treatment.
Since opening its doors in 1983 the hospital has not undergone any major structural refurbishments. However, the management kept updating and modernising medical equipment and facilities to keep up with patients’ requirements and modern trends throughout the decades. The interior design of the recently renovated ward was done in co-operation with the assistance of professional architects who suggested a new colour schemes in shades of blues and greys which the hospital administration approved. The new colour scheme is cool, clean and calm.
The renovations and refurbishments were designed by local architectural firm Gura and Associates Architects with ProDev Construction Management acting as construction managers in collaboration with VDO Consultants – a South African based firm with experience in health and recreational facilities. The Design Team Consulting Engineers took care of electrical and mechanical engineering while Lues Construction were the main building works contractors.
When you enter the maternity ward the duty station is immediately ahead. The Duty Station has been refurbished to be more welcoming and efficient – and it’s also much more attractive with clear signage above the desk for visitors’ convenience.
The original Duty Station was closed-in behind glass and wooden partitions making it less accessible or friendly. The new Duty Station is more open and has a desk-height counter with a marble look front, and the windows behind it make it feel light and airy. It feels as if the staff are so much more approachable and easier to connect with. Behind the desk to the right-hand side is the new Drug Store which is both secure and convenient for staff to access from the Duty Station.
Further to the right, but separate from the Duty Station, is the newly created Unit Manager’s Office and across the passage is a linen store and other utilities.
To the immediate left of the Duty Station is a billing office so hospital patients can sort out their payments in private. Most of the rooms lead off of the passage which runs the length of the ward to the left of the Duty Station. The corridor has been made wider to make it easier for beds to be moved to the assigned room. The ceiling has been made a bit higher and the architect has cleverly staggered the lights in the ceiling so patients don’t feel so disorientated as they are wheeled along. New continuous vinyl floor looks good and it’s hygienic as there are no gaps or joins to keep clean. In the passage the skirting is curved to make it easier to maintain. Design Up supplied and fitted the floors and provided most of the shop fitting services.
To the right of the corridor there are four post-natal rooms with one or two beds each and en suite bathrooms with showers. There are built in seats so patients can sit down while they enjoy their shower. The rooms are very comfortable – all with windows for natural light and fresh air – and each room has a TV, air conditioning and individual privacy curtain screens. There are brand new adjustable beds to ensure that the new mothers can rest comfortably. At the end of the corridor is a baby washing unit with sensor taps that are set to the correct temperature.
Across the corridor from the general wards there’s the sluice room and behind that an isolation room. There’s also the adjacent neo-natal ICU unit with three beds. A new nurses’ station overlooks the NNICU and the nursery with five beds. There’s also a breast-feeding room and a milk room. Bright art works and murals help brighten up the spaces.
The refurbishment started in May 2020 and was completed in February 2021 with the official opening and the first patients admitted in April. The COVID-19 pandemic severely slowed down the time scale as labour was restricted and imported items were held up at the border. During the renovations patients were temporarily accommodated on the second floor in the OB/GYN ward.
The Avenues Clinic continues refurbishing and renovating the rest of the hospital in a phased approach as it is being done in a live environment where patients continue to receive care. Gura and Associates have already worked on the designs for the entire project.
To contact Gura and Associates Architects:
Cell: 0719 265 543 /0772265543
-text by Michael Nott
-photos by Structure and Design