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  • Sarah Chester

//KING EDWARD MEMORIAL HOSPITAL NICU FITOUT

In early 2019 local WA charity, Helping Little Hands sent out a call for help, asking for commercial fitout contributions to update the very worn out space that was the NICU parents lounge at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco.



Giving back to our local community is a key element of Designfit’s culture and business ethos. Commercial fitout projects are committed to on the basis of community need as well as on an assessment of each projects prospective capacity to attain assistance via the facility’s management departments or other stakeholders.


With a projected relocation of the NICU set at 2029, some 10 years away, the space would still be utilised by a large number of families, however state government and other commercial fitout companies in Perth had rejected the project for funding.


The parents lounge provides for upwards of 2,000 families per year going through the often heartbreaking and traumatic experience that is Neonatal Intensive Care. Designfit’s directors, having experienced their own personal journeys through NICU, felt this project needed to be taken on board and having extensive experience in medical fitouts meant the Designfit team was equipped to deliver.


In collaboration with NICU staff and the Helping Little Hands team members, Designfit Interior Architect Ash Bugge set about to create a space that was both functional for parents and allowed for the peace and calm needed between long stressful hours spent with their babies. It was agreed the space should not be reflective of a typical hospital fitout, rather of a residential lounge room space.


The brief needed to encompass a multitude of purposes into a relatively confined space, including lounges big enough for couples to sit together and rest, kitchen space that afforded functionality to prepare food and also the clinical space to clean and sterilise breast feeding equipment.



Additionally, the timeline and scheduling of the works required negotiation and sensitivity given the clinical setting and its vulnerable occupants.


In late 2019, and just in time for Santa to visit, the new parents lounge was officially opened by Helping Little Hands patrons, Courtney and Jack Darling.



The finished lounge is a breath of fresh air for staff and parents and Designfit are honoured to help make the NICU experience just a bit easier for families passing through.

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Designfit Group acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation. We recognise the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices and the connection to land, waters and community of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.