Critical care project

The critical care project is a state-of-the-art expansion and redevelopment of our adult and neonatal intensive care facilities at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

It will allow us to treat around 650 more critically ill adults and babies every year, in world-class facilities which will benefit patients and their families.

What is the critical care project?

We are expanding both our adult and neonatal intensive care units so we can treat more patients every year. This is one of our biggest redevelopments to date and it will significantly increase the future capacity in these areas, allowing for the treatment of more than 2,000 patients every year in state-of-the-art facilities.

Where is the work happening?

The areas being transformed and expanded are our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for adults and our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for babies—however, at times, works will be visible throughout the hospital.

What you need to know

Safety is our top priority. You can be assured that a safe environment will be maintained at all times for our patients and their families. Our construction partner McLaughlin & Harvey has extensive experience working in hospital environments and places safety above all else.

However, there will be some disruption and access to some wards will be changed during the project.

Please look out for and follow the relevant signs, and do not hesitate to ask a member of staff if you need assistance.

We apologise in advance for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding while we build new world-class facilities for our patients and their families.

How will the units be changing?

We have been working with our charity CW+ and a range of partners to design world-class intensive care units with optimal healing environments for patients and their families. The units will have bespoke lighting, acoustics and technology.

  • The new ICU will be an improved space in the same location as the current unit, but is being expanded by 45%. The unit will include some NHS-first facilities to help patients and families at a time when it’s most needed. These include private bed areas, in-built space for a patient’s partner or relative to rest, and technology to connect patients to loved ones.
  • The new NICU will be in its existing location, expanded and transformed internally to increase the number of cots, providing additional space and privacy around each cot, and creating enhanced facilities for parents and families who often spend many weeks at our hospital.

When will the work take place?

Construction work will be ongoing from July 2018 and is expected to be complete in 2020. Works will be carried out in several phases to minimise disruption throughout the hospital and local area.

How much will it cost?

The redevelopment work will cost around £25 million and is being funded 50/50 by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and our official charity CW+.

The project in numbers

  • 616 patients were treated in our ICU last year
  • 758 babies were treated in our NICU last year
  • Our ICU future capacity will increase by 45%
  • Our NICU will increase in space by 40%
  • 60% of ICU patients come from our A&E department which is now one of the busiest in the country
  • This expansion will enable us to treat more than 650 additional critically ill patients every year in world-class facilities for them and their families
  • The project will improve the facilities for 2,000 patients every year

Construction will involve:

  • 95 tonnes of steel, which is the weight of 8 London buses or 633,333 stethoscopes
  • A new tower crane, with a 34 metre-long mast
  • A tower crane jib of 60 metres
  • More than 1,800 dimmable LED light fittings

View 3D project plans



Case studies

“Frankie was born at 28 weeks and 5 days, weighing 2lb, 7.5oz. We spent a total of 50 days in the NICU before making it home with our beautiful baby boy. Nine months on he is full of smiles and laughter. We can't thank you enough for everything you have done for Frankie and we will be eternally grateful. This is why we are supporting the Critical Care Campaign.” 

—Nicola and Andrew Hayes Hight, whose baby boy Frankie was born prematurely and was cared for in NICU

“It was a difficult experience. It was wonderful because they saved my daughter’s life, but the surroundings, the space, the fact there was nowhere to escape to, was very difficult.”

—Virginia Ibbott, whose 22-year-old daughter Rachel was treated in ICU following a series of strokes 

What our clinical staff say

“This will ensure that the quality of our facilities matches the quality of our staff. It will create the most modern, fit-for-purpose and patient-centred critical care service in the UK.”

—Dr Rick Keays, Director of Intensive Care, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital 

“This redevelopment and expansion is vital for our neonatal unit. It will mean we can care for and treat many more babies who need our help the most, and who we are currently turning away.”

—Geraldine Cochrane, Divisional Director of Nursing, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Further information

If you would like further information, please email .

Specific enquiries

If you are a patient, or a parent or relative of a patient, please contact the ward area most relevant to you:

  • NICU: 020 3315 3052/3078/3079
  • SCBU: 020 3315 7883
  • ICU: 020 3315 8516/8518

Find contact details of other wards/departments.


Download a leaflet with the key information from this page:

Please support us

This redevelopment has been made possible thanks to the generous support of our local community. If you would like to get involved with fundraising or make a donation, please visit or call 020 3315 6600.


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