Willen Hospice

The Brief

Willen Hospice provides care for end of life patients and their families in the Milton Keynes area. Since 1978 the hospice has been based in the Grade II Listed Manor Farmhouse, which sits within a Conservation Area with grounds and views overlooking the North Lake in Willen.

In 2016 the Board of Trustees embarked on a capital building project, ‘Building a Legacy’, which aimed to grow the hospice’s space and services in order to meet the changing needs of patients, including being able to look after people with a wider range of life limiting illnesses. We were appointed from the outset of the project to provide combined project management, cost consultancy and CDM services for the remodelling and refurbishment of the existing Listed building alongside the delivery of a two storey new build extension. This included successfully supporting the Client through the planning pre-application process with Milton Keynes Council, which was necessary due to the sensitive nature of the site.


Willen Hospice


Milton Keynes


David Coles Architects


13,700 ft²


  • Health Care & Assisted Living


  • Project Management
  • Cost Consultancy
  • Health & Safety (CDM)

The Challenge

The Hospice needed the works to be undertaken whilst remaining operational, albeit with a reduced number of beds. This required careful planning and phasing with noisy and disruptive works planned around the day to day operation of the Hospice and kept to a minimum. Safe pedestrian routes through the Hospice needed to be clearly defined, ensuring staff had continued access to all operational areas. As existing bedrooms were decommissioned, transition between new and old spaces had to be carefully managed. In particular the re-routing of medical gases and down time to swap over services had to be planned in detail to ensure minimal disruption to the day to day operation of the hospice.

As a result of the impact of the COVID pandemic the Trust agreed to the delay of the works to keep as many of the beds available on site as possible in case these were needed as emergency beds as the pandemic took hold. Once the potential need for these beds reduced, we helped the Client develop a new programme with the contactor which kept the overall delay to the programme and the final delivery of the new facility to a minimum.

The Outcome

The completed works extended, upgraded and reconfigured the 15 bed in-patient unit, creating a new outdoor terrace which patients can directly access from their bedrooms. On the lower ground floor a new wellbeing centre now acts as a flexible space for a variety of outpatient activities, allowing the hospice to provide in person emotional and social support to complement medical interventions.

A key hub for the Hospice is the new ‘Octagon’ cafe which has been carefully positioned to take full advantage of the views over North Lake. This space provides a family-friendly environment for patients and their families to spend time together. The works also saw the creation of a physiotherapy room, new nurses’ station and improved clinical meetings spaces, new catering facilities, an IT hub and a new reception area.

Alongside successfully modernising the Hospice, the completed project also provides increased potential for the Hospice to generate revenue.

0 ft²
New space added
Bedrooms all with lake view
In-patients cared for each year

Other Projects We’ve Completed Include

Teenage Cancer Trust, Various Projects

Brinsworth House Care Home