Colchester Hospital - Catfoss

Case Study - Colchester Hospital

Colchester Hospital

Colchester Hospital is part of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and provides hospital and community health care services for Colchester, Ipswich and local areas. Formed on 1 July 2018, ESNEFT is the largest NHS organisation in the region.

Catfoss were first approached by Colchester Hospital in Spring 2017 to provide a brand new two-storey building combining a new entrance, waiting room, consultation rooms, mixed retail units on the ground floor, office space on the first floor, as well as a new Emergency Department and integrating extension to existing emergency rooms in the hospital.

The patient drop off area was too narrow and congested, meaning that pedestrians had to share space with vehicles during the day. Further to this, it was evident that the existing reception foyer was exceedingly cramped with no suitable seating/waiting areas.

Working closely in consultation with the Trust, Catfoss received approval to carry out the project in Spring 2018 and production of the modules began in May 2019.

Project Size:

Main Entrance and Office Building: 1985 sqm, Two Storey, 46 Modules

Emergency Department: 215 sqm, Single Storey, 5 Modules


The front of the main building has largely stayed the same since the hospital opened in 1985 and needed to be changed significantly with a view of including a modern pedestrianised piazza-style promenade, new bus and taxi drop off areas along with a spacious entrance which would transform the patient and visitor experience.

As work would be carried out around existing emergency rooms at the hospital, it was essential that disruption be kept to an absolute minimum. Providing additional space on two storeys for a variety of different uses would also mean Catfoss must be innovative in design and planning. As part of the challenge, access roads would need to be removed and replaced with temporary pedestrian access points.

Catfoss created a design and project plan that could be implemented over different stages to minimise disruption to the hospital and emergency rooms. The development will take the form of two blocks, the first a single storey providing space for an Emergency Department (ED) which will include an Urgent Treatment Centre, forward facing entrance, waiting room and four consultation rooms.  The second is a larger two- storey block which forms the new façade at the front of the building, non-clinical space on the first floor, new visitors facilities with retail outlets WH Smith, M&S Simply Food, Costa Coffee and The Stock Shop on the ground floor.

The plan also incorporated refurbishment of existing internal areas and various landscaping elements. New bus and taxi drop off areas were also included to improve the flow of vehicles and a pedestrianized piazza-style promenade was incorporated to improve the visiting experience for both staff and patients.

Catfoss would provide a full turnkey package – including surveys, foundation and superstructure design, planning applications and building control – as well as the building modules themselves. Throughout the project Catfoss would work closely with the hospital to meet their needs in improving the retail space, access to existing buildings and vehicle access.

As a family owned business with a proud heritage across four generations, we put consultation and customer service at the centre of everything we do. We look to partner with businesses for mutual benefit, as we have with the Colchester Hospital. If you have challenges around availability of space, think Catfoss and get in touch today.