The design of the new £18 million facility at Wrightington Hospital has been developed for client Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust and is being undertaken by Integrated Health Projects (IHP), a joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine, under the NHS Procure 21+ framework.

The hospital is a recognised centre for orthopaedic excellence and the new development, when completed, will accommodate the new surgical facility, which will comprise of an admissions & recovery unit, two 28-bed wards and a four-bay theatre complex; which has proved very successful at other hospitals up and down the country, with reported benefits of increased safety, improved clinical practice and greater efficiency.

The redeveloped hospital will provide modern, high quality surgical facilities which will allow the Trust to continue to attract patients from all over the country for orthopaedic healthcare.

The redevelopment will mean a vastly improved environment for both patients and staff, with more single room accommodation, increased safety, improved clinical practice and reduced length of stay.

Chris Knights, WWL Project Director said: “These are exciting times for Wrightington Hospital and WWL; and I am absolutely delighted that construction of the new surgical facility is progressing so well and we are one step further to dramatically improving services to our patients”.

Chris continues “Wrightington Hospital is already a recognised centre of excellence for Orthopaedic Surgery which carries out more Orthopaedic activity than any other Hospital in the North West. The Hospital also has one of the lowest infection and readmission rates in the North West and generates excellent clinical results. The new unit will enhance our patients’ experience even further. Furthermore, the design of the new unit will assist in the reduction in length of stay as our therapy teams will now have the opportunity to work with the patients immediately after their surgery within the new ward environment.”

During the 18 months before the ground-breaking, WWL had invested almost £6 million at Wrightington, including the creation of two new state-of-the-art modular theatres and new car parking facilities. They had also invested in improved utility infrastructure on the site as well as enabling works such as a new access road which allowed creation of the right foundations for this longer term development.

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While searching for a suitable blind solution with tilt functionality the Trust had some concerns, the specification was quite general for an integrated blind but the way in which they were operated was proving to be an issue. With most integral blinds a sliding magnet is used around the perimeter for operation but the Trust were concerned that the magnet would come off, causing problems. BetweenGlassBlinds approached Nick Smith, Commercial Manager at VINCI Construction UK and the WWL NHS Trust with a solution which met with the Trusts requirements, by incorporating a restrictor to ensure the magnet would stay put.

BetweenGlassBlinds are noted for their innovative, versatile and maintenance-free integrated blinds which are ideal for healthcare environments as they meet the requirements for clinical infection control. The blinds also allowed the user full control of privacy, which in the new wards where patients will recover from Orthopaedic surgery, was a priority.

A conventional blind system was deemed unsuitable for the project due to a number of reasons:

  • They gathered dust and dirt and regularly needed cleaning
  • Conventional blinds get damaged easily therefore do not have a satisfactory life-span
  • Conventional blinds can be a fire or safety hazard
  • Conventional blinds do not meet the requirements for clinical infection control

The supply only BetweenGlassBlinds Tilt only panel instead offered a standard integral blind system with the ability to tilt the slats from open to close. The blinds are controlled by two discreetly hidden powerful magnets located around the unit perimeter.  The magnets control the operation of the blinds with ease and are fitted with a restrictor to prevent the magnets from coming detached from the panel.

Other reasons for the decision to install over 44 BGB units on the project were that the stylish design sees the blind sit inside a hermetically sealed double glazed argon filled unit, which protects the blind from damage, dirt and grime. Meaning the blind is hygienically excellent, never needs cleaning and is completely maintenance free.


Vistamatic Max-XL vision panels were a supply only to the project at Wrightington Hospital, they were open/close vision screens used in doors for the benefit of the hospital staff to keep a close eye on vulnerable patients in acute wards that provided support to the new theatres in the Orthopaedic department.

The Vistamatic Max-XL panels are specifically designed to offer a streamline appearance to any door requiring a full length panel and with all of the benefits expected of a Vistamatic®, the Max-XL™ dispenses with the need to install two individual panels vertically into a door blank.

The Max-XL allows discreet observation through the upper area of the panel and is available in a variety of glass options.

Vistamatic were specified by WWL NHS Trust based on the reliability and quality of their products in the market and the fact that they offered supply only.

The installation of BetweenGlassBlinds at the new facility at Wrightington Hospital was essential in meeting the requirements specified by the Trust, not just meeting the requirements of infection control but also with their innovative solution to the issues we faced searching for a suitable integrated blind solution.

The quality of the Vistamatic and BetweenGlassBlinds products was good. In terms of the satisfaction for the delivery of the units, Vistamatic and BetweenGlassBlinds showed excellent management and customer care throughout the process.”
Nick Smith, Commercial Manager, VINCI Construction UK