New Welcome Centre Opens at Bristol Royal Infirmary


Landmark facility will generate income for trust

The new £5m Welcome Centre has opened at Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI).

The facility, which is part of a wider redevelopment of the hospital, has transformed the entrance to the BRI by providing a bright, spacious area for the benefit of patients, visitors and staff.

Services include an outpatient booking service, patient support and complaints service, smart new reception and waiting area, and retailers including Costa Coffee, Marks & Spencer, Stockshop and WHSmith. Boots will operate an outpatient pharmacy service alongside a retail store, which will enable patients to pick up prescriptions until 7pm weekdays or at a Boots community pharmacy outlet closer to their home.

Acting on behalf of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol), Capita designed the centre; led the engagement with the retailers, as well as overseeing the leasing agreements with the trust; and kept an overall watching brief on the project’s progress. Capita also devised the financial model where the centre is funded through the income derived from the retail operations with upfront financial analysis identifying the potential yields and returns from every financing option that is appropriate for the trust. This analysis also assisted in negotiations with retailers, financiers and developer alike.

Deborah Lee, director of strategic development at the trust, said: “We’re delighted to see the main entrance to the Bristol Royal Infirmary completely transformed into a light, airy and welcoming space for our patients, visitors and staff. We know from comments we receive from patients and their families how important a good welcome is, and we hope that this new entrance into our hospital complex will better reflect the high quality of care and services we provide within the hospital.”

“The development of this Welcome Centre has been made possible through our partnership with Capita, who worked with us to develop the proposal which will be entirely funded though income we will receive from our retail partners. We’re looking forward to working with them to provide a valuable range of facilities for all those who use our hospitals and will put the income generated back into supporting the delivery of excellent patient care.”

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UH Bristol continues to work with its non-commercial partners, including the Royal Voluntary Service which has recently extended its shop in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, to provide a wider variety of refreshments. Building work at the Bristol Royal Infirmary continues to progress on track with further new facilities nearing completion next year.