Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust has today launched a virtual reality (VR) model of its £485 million redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital.
In what is thought to be a first in the NHS, the model allows staff to explore the new facilities more than three years before the first of the new buildings is complete. Staff can move anywhere through the new buildings, the helideck and the service yard to learn how they can provide the best possible patient care as soon as they open.
This virtual reality tool will help staff get used to their new working environment before it has even been built. It will give teams the chance to figure out their working practices and patient care strategies, with accurate knowledge of how the building will operate. This will make it much easier to give patients the care that they deserve and that staff want to deliver, from Day One in the new buildings.
Staff from all the services moving into the new buildings will use the virtual reality model to help aclimatise to the new facilities. The upgraded environment offered by the redevelopment will give the opportunity for teams to assess and change their working practices to take full advantage of the new buildings. The VR model will allow this to happen long before the buildings are complete.
The VR model reflects all the information in the redevelopment’s Building Information Modelling (BIM) database. The BIM system is used as the blueprint for construction, so what is shown in the model is what will actually be built. The VR system will have longer lasting benefits as well such as allowing maintenance staff to actually see where services run in the new buildings and plan works accordingly.
The trust’s work on VR has been short-listed for Building Magazine’s BIM initiative of the year.
The VR model will continue to be updated until the end of the hospital redevelopment as new equipment is bought and the interior design of the new buildings takes shape.