Planning Approved for Sunderland Eye Hospital

The new dedicated eye hospital has been designed by international design practice Ryder Architecture for South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS foundation Trust and Sunderland City Council.

The new development will relocate the Eye Hospital from its existing site on the outskirts of the city onto the Riverside Sunderland site, with dramatically improved public transport and city centre connectivity.

Ryder was commissioned in January 2020 and proposals have been designed through extensive consultation with the NHS Trust, the City Council, patients, visitors, the local community and hospital staff.  A broad process of engagement has informed the new facility, ensuring that the hospital continues to deliver an exceptional service in a building and setting designed around the specific needs of patients and staff.

The landscape and building interiors are designed around a sensory journey, ensuring that approach, access and wayfinding throughout the development act as an aide to the visually impaired.  Use of daylight in public and treatment areas is carefully considered to ensure that slow visual transitions are achieved, and patients have time and space to acclimatise to the interior environment.

The new building delivers 10,400sqm of new accommodation, including:
Emergency department
Medical retinal, outpatient and diagnostic imaging clinics
State of the art operating theatres
A dedicated cataract treatment centre, including theatres and outpatient clinics from which the hospital’s nationally recognised cataract services can be delivered
Ambulatory care facilities and short stay inpatient beds
Education and training facilities
Foyer, reception, public waiting and café areas

The Ryder led design team includes Cundall, CAD21, One Environments and Lichfields.  The team has worked collaboratively throughout the project, in consultation with an ambitious and knowledgeable client team, to bring a wealth of expertise to the design of the new facilities.

In addition to delivering world leading clinical facilities, the building will make a strong contribution to the NHS Trust’s commitment to net zero carbon through the delivery of an all electric building services strategy.  It will be supported by a fabric first approach to energy performance, with a building envelope designed to Passive House principles.

Ian Crow, director at Ryder, said, “It has been a privilege to work with a client team at the City Council and NHS Trust who have a real ambition to deliver an exceptional clinical facility on a prominent city centre site.  The passionate and purposeful input we have received from staff, patients and the local community has inspired the design process and has enabled a development that the whole city can be proud of.”

With planning consent secured, the development will now progress towards a start on site in summer 2022.  Following an open tender process, Sunderland City Council has announced Kier Construction as preferred contractor for the project.

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