Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) continuously strive to provide better education for the next generation of medical professionals. As such, with help from NTW Solutions, they wanted to create a modern learning space for their medical education centre in Gosforth. Forbo Flooring Systems’ Flotex, Modul’up and Allura Flex ranges all played a key role in bringing this project together.
NTW Solutions was established in 2017 by CNTW NHS Foundation Trust to provide a range of important services, across a variety of teams. They work alongside stakeholders such as the NHS Foundation Trust to provide high-end project outcomes.
Danni Littlewood, Capital Projects Officer at NTW was tasked to design a modern learning space for the trust, she explains: “The scheme was for a medical education centre for trainees coming from university into a healthcare environment for experience.
“The centre will accommodate both doctors and nurses, giving them relevant experience in their chosen field, whilst still being in an educational atmosphere.
“We therefore needed to create a learning space more reflective of a modern university, rather than a standard training department in the NHS. This meant allowing for simulation areas for assessments, study spaces, as well as a social space for break-out and rest.”
Offering a variety of foundation placements, the medical centre will provide young nurses and doctors with a good base level of education to then move forwards in their chosen speciality. To do this there was a variety of factors to review when looking at designs.
Danni continues: “Although we wanted to create a modern space, we had to be mindful that it would be subjected to heavy footfall. Therefore, we needed a floor covering that would have a long lifespan but was also contemporary and stylish.
“Forbo’s Flotex range satisfied both these needs. It’s a hard-wearing solution that is easy to clean and is available in a wide range of designs. We used Flotex Planks Frameweave in the main circulation areas and in the learning spaces, which will see the most footfall.
“I specified the planks in the Pave, Ember, Citrine and Pesto colourways, which are all very earthy, autumnal tones. Not only did the Flotex range provide us with a durable and modern solution, but it also helped us to achieve another part of the design brief, which was to incorporate colours from the grounds surrounding the hospital into the build.”
Flotex is a flocked floor covering which is resilient and versatile, and available in tile, plank and sheet format. It provides the appeal of a textile solution, but with the hygienic practicalities and durability of a resilient flooring.
It is also the only textile floor covering available on the market that has been awarded the Allergy UK Seal of Approval, as with the correct cleaning regime it will not harbour allergens or house dust mites.
Danni adds: “I then specified Allura Flex planks in the Greywashed Timber, Bleached Timber and Oyster Seagrass colourways for the breakout areas.
“This collection allowed us to continue the theme of a linear aesthetic throughout and bring an element of design into what could have been a boring, flat floor space.
“Forbo’s Allura LVT has unprecedented stability, strength, performance and quality and are easy to clean – something important for a medical setting. They are also easy to install which is an added bonus!
“We also specified Modul’up in the Grey Linea colourway, which has a complementary design to the Allura plank in the Oyster Seagrass. That combined with the fact it was very quick and easy to install – due to it being adhesive free – made it a perfect fit for the project. It was fantastic!”
In keeping with the aforementioned brief, it was important for NTW that the modern feel was kept in every aspect of the project. This was enhanced by Forbo’s expansive range of products.
Danni continues: “In the past I’ve preferred not to use Flotex, as I thought it looked a little dated and didn’t work well, but Forbo’s new patterns and colours changed my mind.
“They can be used in so many different ways but provide a much more modern appearance than other options on the market.
“In terms of finishes, the project ended up exactly how I wanted it to. My rep from Forbo, Jon Rogers, was so supportive showing me lots of flooring samples and making sure we had all looked over every design possible before moving forwards.
“Overall, I’m really happy with the end product and I’m so happy to have won the ‘Commended’ award from Forbo in their Forbo Escapes competition. It’s a great honour!”
The project was finished in late 2021 and has received good responses from the students so far, who have commented on the durability and cleanability of the flooring.
For more information about Forbo’s range of education flooring solutions, please visit www.forbo-flooring.co.uk/
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