Flagship lounges at Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals officially open for staff
Two new staff lounges within Hammersmith and Charing Cross restaurants are now officially open. The lounges are another major milestone in our staff spaces improvement programme, supported by Imperial Health Charity and design company Taylor Howes. The new lounges aim to offer a relaxing space where staff can take a break, get refreshments, or meet with colleagues.
The large staff-only lounges at Charing Cross and Hammersmith hospitals have been developed with input from staff across our hospitals and supported by Taylor Howes through a design competition with local design college KLC.
Over £1.2m has been spent on the staff spaces programme in the financial year to 31 March 2022 and a decision has been made to continue with a new allocation of further funding for the financial year 2022/23 to enable more staff space improvements.
The lounges are part of the wider staff spaces improvement programme which has, so far, delivered 80 plus general improvement projects and three pilot ‘rest nests’ – interior-designed, fully refurbished breakrooms
Professor Tim Orchard, chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve reached another stage of our staff support programme and that these spaces are now open for our staff to enjoy, relax and reenergise. Our next focus will be exploring options for a similar lounge at our St Mary’s site, which we hope to have completed later this year.
“I would like to thank our staff who were involved in developing the lounges, Taylor Howes – who have given all of their time for free - Imperial Heath Charity and our many generous donors and supporters, to be able to make these spaces happen for our staff.”
Ian Lush, chief executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: “At every step of the Covid-19 response, we have been proud to support our extraordinary NHS staff who have made an enormous personal contribution to maintain patient care during a period of unprecedented pressure on our hospitals. We hope these fantastic new lounge areas will offer a quiet and calming space for our NHS colleagues to rest and reflect, serving as a lasting legacy to their tireless efforts throughout the pandemic.”
Karen Howes, chief executive of Taylor Howes, said: "It's immensely exciting but also gratifying to see two further 'Rest Nest' rooms roll out, particularly this flagship space created for Imperial College Healthcare. Rest Nest is an initiative wholly born out of a deep-rooted desire to say 'thank you' to our frontline staff, for their tireless efforts and all that they do, it pre-dates Covid and we're very proud of it. To help change the environment in which NHS staff seek out much needed respite on shift is one of the most rewarding projects I and the Taylor Howes team have ever worked on. I have witnessed firsthand the exhaustion that can set in after a long shift, with my daughter who is a nurse, and anything we can do to help alleviate this is essential.
“This space could not have been done without our incredible partners; the students and teachers from KLC School of Design, the fantastic architects KSR - most specifically Daniel and Anna - and the terrific team at the Trust for bringing the project to life."
In 2020 Imperial Health Charity awarded a grant of £1.7m to help fund our Covid-19 staff legacy programme, supported by generous donations from members of the public towards the charity’s Covid-19 Relief Fund appeal. Around £1.2m has been spent on the improvements to staff facilities, with the remaining funds put towards an expanded counselling service to support staff mental health and wellbeing at the peak of the pandemic.