Royal Blackburn Hospital, Lancashire


Hospital services in Blackburn were previously spread over two sites, requiring 16,000 ambulance transfers between them per year. By refurbishing the old Queens Park hospital and adding a new purpose-built extension, it was possible to bring all patient care under one roof and provide a much more efficient service. The new Royal Blackburn Hospital provides 668 beds and serves 70,000 A&E attendances per year. It was opened in July 2006.

The new Royal Blackburn Hospital’s vision is to provide high quality medical and surgical care to patients in the North West of England. The new hospital with state of the art modern equipment supported by award winning consultants and staff provides outstanding patient-centred care.

This was a large project with over 2,200 doors, where both security and safety needed to be considered. The design was still evolving as the building was being created, leading to a series of tight time crunches as we had to develop specifications and obtain client approval on an ongoing basis.

A complete master key system was installed, covering both internal and external doors and giving access tailored to the individual users. This system was designed in-house by ASSA ABLOY Door Solutions, allowing us to respond flexibly to suit the Trust’s developing requirements. By using ASSA 4800 cylinders with patented key security we were also able to ensure protection against illicit key duplication. Safety was provided by the extensive use of door automation systems, using electromechanical floorsprings, ASSA door magnets and Besam operators, linked where appropriate to the fire alarm system.

The master key system reduces the number of keys required on this 2,200 door building, giving cost-effectiveness and convenience while ensuring security. Patented key control ensures that the system is not compromised if keys are lost or stolen – very important in organisations with large numbers of personnel and high staff turnover. Access control and door automation, used on key areas such as high-usage corridors and operating theatres, provides security while not compromising the fire strategy and ensures ease of movement with minimum wear and tear. In addition, the use of the ASSA Modular lock design simplified specification and reduced installation costs. The heavy duty construction of the locks and the ScanFlex stainless steel furniture ensures minimum maintenance requirements over the planned 30-year lifespan of this PFI project.