A Colourful North Ayrshire Community Hospital Installation

Project: North Ayrshire Community Hospital
Client: NHS Ayrshire and Arran
Architectural Ironmongery: Lloyd Worral
Total Contract Value: £65M


North Ayrshire Community Hospital is a new-build mental health and elderly care facility within the grounds of Ayrshire Central Hospital.

It contains 206 bedrooms within 11 inpatient wards, three support clusters incorporating centralised patient social and rehabilitation spaces, and outpatient consulting areas, ECT, IPCU, tribunal and pharmacy facilities.

In partnership with Lloyd Worrall’s new build team, we’ve helped to deliver the Vistamatic anti-ligature vision panel solution to the Acute Mental Health service at North Ayrshire Community Hospital. This project was an integrated mental health and community development which will bring together a full range of inpatient and outpatient facilities. Serving East, North, and South Ayrshire this new facility will:

  • Centralise adult mental health and addiction inpatient services on one site
  • Improve rehabilitation and re-enablement services
  • Improve treatment and rehabilitation facilities for older people
  • Provide additional outpatient and support services.

The design is mostly single storey and has wards and departments wrapped around individual enclosed courtyards. This will provide patients with safe and ready access to external space. An Arts Strategy, supported by dedicated funding of around £300,000 will further enhance the therapeutic environment.

Colour and individual bespoke graphics can make the world of difference to a project be they of a novel or commercial nature and can play a part in creating an exciting or calming influence within an environment. Vistamatic® recognise the importance of this and enhancing the overall experience of patients, staff and visitors within mental health and dementia and pride themselves on their effective approach to interior design, helping to create an outstanding therapeutic space.

The Project

Dawn Construction are the principal construction partner selected to deliver this new hospital, including a proposed leisure centre at the Ayrshire Central Hospital site in Irvine. The range of healthcare services provided will include a new Community Hospital and new Mental Health inpatient facility.

The Community Hospital facility will include: outpatients, neuro rehab, care of the elderly, primary care facilities, Allied Health Professions such as physiotherapy, dietetics, speech and language therapy, NHS Ayrshire Doctors On Call (ADOC) and children’s services.

The Mental Health service will provide the following additional community based facilities: Elderly mental health services, community addiction services, child and adolescent mental health services and psychology services.

During construction, clinical services will be maintained on the hospital site within the existing operational buildings. The new hospital will be constructed in a series of phases to allow appropriate decant provision from the existing buildings, thus freeing up development space for other clinical purposes or disposal.

This new healthcare facility will help NHS Ayrshire & Arran with its long-term goal of shifting the balance of care from acute hospitals into more community based facilities.



After working with several leading Architects in the field of Dementia and Mental Health design about incorporating art within a building’s design in order to improve the therapeutic environment, Vistamatic began to look into ways of incorporating art into their vision panels. Following an extensive research and development process, they developed a remarkable solution which allows detailed digital images to be printed on to the vision panels.

Vistamatic were specified by Lloyd Worrall, the architectural ironmongery partner for the North Ayrshire project. Vistamatic were chosen as a result of their reputation within the healthcare sector, along with their ability to incorporate artwork within the vision panels which was of a high priority for this project.

150 Max-XL Vistamatic sandblasted vision panels were installed in the hospital. The Max-XL panels are designed to offer a streamline appearance to any door requiring a full length panel, they are made to measure and allow unobtrusive observation through the upper area of the panel.

90 Vista-Max standard vision panels were also supplied and installed for the project. The triple glazed system is renowned for allowing discreet and secure observation whilst maintaining the appearance of a contemporary Venetian style blind. Vistamatic’s ability to provide individual bespoke graphics within the vision panel was a huge factor in them being specified, the artwork transformed the aesthetics of the environment whilst maintaining the observation merits of the panel.

The Vistamatic panels were open/close vision screens used in doors for the benefit of the hospital staff to keep a close eye on vulnerable patients throughout the hospital, including the mental health department, providing a number of benefits for end users, including:

  • Respecting the modesty, privacy and dignity of patients and visitors
  • Creating a welcoming and attractive environment that lifts the spirits of the end users
  • Creating an inspirational sense of place and therapeutic environment whilst addressing infection control, patient safety and security

A patient’s perception of internal perimeters is that of an obvious custodial boundary, something unmistakably institutional and a constant reminder that they are living in a secure environment. We realised that by adding art to our vision panels we could soften the physical appearance of the doors whilst significantly enhancing the internal patient environment.

John Scott, Head of Capital Planning and Project Director, said:
“We would like to thank everyone who took the time to vote and tell us their favourite name for the new hospital.

“This major investment in local healthcare services belongs to the local community and we have been overwhelmed by the response we received from local residents, patients, visitors and staff.”