Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital is a part of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, one of the country’s top performing NHS foundation trusts. It looks after the health and wellbeing of around half a million people across Northumberland and North Tyneside – one of the largest geographical areas of any NHS trust in England.

TOP-TEC were approached by Jackie McGuire, Library & Knowledge Services Lead for the trust, to provide furniture solutions for three areas in the hospital’s library development. The library would be split up into a Study Area, Quiet Room and Bookable Meeting Room.

The Brief

The Study Area needed to accommodate up to 12 people and required furniture that was flexible in nature in order to maximise the effectiveness of the area. All furniture installed into the area must provide adequate space for working on both ICT and paper based activities.

The Quiet Room required ICT workspaces for 7 people including an accessible desk for all users.

The Meeting Room should be accessible for all users and create a space that provides IT and desking for various activities including meetings away from a clinical environment.

Key Project Criteria:

  • Create multipurpose spaces for staff and students to meet and learn.
  • Effectively and seamlessly integrate IT equipment into each new library space.
  • Maximise the effectiveness and use of each area.
  • Provide accessible IT workstations for all users.

2D & 3D Room Layouts

After ascertaining the library’s requirements TOP-TEC produced a series of 2D and 3D room-layouts for the hospital to choose from, all featuring our flexible furniture solutions.

Utilising our experience in workspace and multipurpose suites, each layout was designed to fully maximise the use of the space.

Study Area – Forum Teamwork Desk

It was clear from our conversations with Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital that it was important the furniture we suggested for the Study Area ensured the space was utilised to its fullest potential. After due consideration, our Forum Teamwork Desk was selected as it met the key project criteria:

Choice of Shape, Style & Capacity

Thanks to its modular and customisable design, each Forum desk was specified with one square end and one tapered end enabling us to maximise the allocated space. TOP-TEC installed two 6-seat desks into the area providing space for up to 12 people while maintaining a comfortable distance between users and other obstacles.

Flexible & Multipurpose Solution

Our solution maximises the effectiveness of the area by providing multipurpose workstations for individual or group activities.

‘Flip-Top’ pods integrated into the Forum ’ s work-surface allow each user to utilise the space however they see fit. The pods provide a flexible solution with ample space for both ICT and non-ICT based tasks at the pull of a lever.

Storage Space & Security

When out of use, all ICT equipment, including keyboard and mouse, is hidden and stored below the work-surface in latched compartments. The Hospital’s PC equipment is attached to the underside of each workstation via a lockable PC cage.

Bespoke End Panels

For this solution it was established that custom vanity panels were a requirement for the end of each unit that faced into the centre of the library space.

Quiet Space & Bookable Meeting Space

Workspace Desking Solutions

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are an equal opportunities employer. When considering the style of desks the trust wanted to utilise in the Quiet Space and Bookable Meeting Room, the solution needed to allow for a comfortable amount of space between each user and be flexible in both their utilisation and adaptation to all users needs.

Our Manual ‘Flip-Top’ Desks were specified and tailored to the hospital’s requirements:

Choice of Size & Capacity

Our desks are specified to fit your rooms requirements. This means that for Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital we were able to fit 7 workstation desks into the Quiet Space and 3 into the Bookable Meeting Space while maintaining a minimum allocation of space between each user in order to balance comfort and maximise the use of the space.

Multi-Functional Desks

Our Manual Versatile Desks allow users to transform their workspace in seconds. ‘Flip-Top’ desks fully conceal the screen, keyboard and mouse providing an uninterrupted worksurface when the ICT equipment is not in use, supporting ICT and non-ICT activities within the same space.

Electrical Height Adjustablility

As some of the library’s users may require differing worktop heights we provided a custom height adjustable variation of the Venus Manual Versatile Desk to provide this functionality.

This makes it easy for any user to utilise the equipment and adjust the rooms furniture to their individual needs.


The Result

Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital Library

From the start TOP-TEC sought to work closely with Jackie McGuire to achieve the hospital’s vision of a library space that inspired and motivated its staff to utilise the facilities on offer.

The new furniture was delivered to the hospital’s library and assembled on the ground floor by our in-house team of fitters to aid in a quick and tidy installation.

The library space has been a huge success attracting staff across the entire site from students to directors and other key stakeholders. As the library offers spaces with furniture that caters to a wide range of working styles, utilisation has grown substantially and the space has quickly become a much sought after resource.

The Study Area is used primarily as an ad-hoc flexible learning/ working aid enabling users to work as they see fit and has proven very popular. The Quiet Space gives users the same flexible style of learning/working but also offers privacy and enables each user to easily focus on their tasks by minimising external distractions. The Bookable Meeting Room is a flexible space that individuals or groups can utilise ad-hoc or book for short periods of time at short notice. The room doubles as a learning/workspace and a meeting room and is used for various activities including presentations, meetings and study sessions.

The new library was the first project of its kind that Jackie had been given to completely specify and kit out. Since the installation the Library has attracted a lot of positive attention.

“The experience of working with TOP-TEC has been fantastic from the start.

Communication was great and they were able to customise their products to better suit our requirements and deliver & fit the furniture to meet our deadlines.

Since the installation we have not had one issue with the furniture and the Library’s utilisation has increased dramatically.

I would happily recommend TOP-TEC because they offer a brilliant design service, reliable products and value for money.”

Jackie McGuire
Library & Knowledge Services Lead