The Personal Touch: Academic Palliative Care Unit at The Royal Liverpool Hospital

Ali Munro recently completed the interior of the new Academic Palliative Care Unit at The Royal Liverpool Hospital.  Commissioned by Professor John Ellershaw & his team.  Ali was briefed to create a calm & homely environment which welcomes patients.
The 12 bedded unit, with is unique in this country, provides world leading compassionate clinical care for patients with the most complex, high dependency palliative and end of life care needs in a specialist environment.

Key features of the unit include a Family and Friends Suite, where difficult conversations can be had in a more private, relaxing environment, families and patients can spend time together, and families can stay overnight if needed.


Extra-special attention has been paid to the environment for patients, families and staff including the innovative use of colour on floors and furnishings, comfortable yet practical furniture, equipment to enhance meal times and personal care so patients feel secure and respected, and specially chosen artworks with a local Liverpool theme.

Designers Ali and Nick Munro were both keen to support this project and had a particular interest in health and wellbeing. Ali said, ‘Both our parents suffered and passed away from cancer, Nicks father 11 years ago and my mother sadly more than 30 years ago when she was in her 50’s. So we both felt very motivated to do the best we can for people in hat period of their lives and that we understood what can make a difference, using our skills.’ Nick added, ‘Our aim is to help create a refurbished Palliative care space, which sets a new international standard for patient experience.’

Professor John Ellershaw, Clinical Director for Palliative Care, said:
‘We only get one chance to get care right for people at the end of their lives and this unit is a major new milestone in us doing so.  Getting the clinical and compassionate care we provide right is vital but it is not the only thing we can do for patients and their families.  Making sure the design of the unit supports health and wellbeing for patients, families and, indeed, staff is a major innovation and one we are sure will be a major benefit for everyone.’ 
BCFA member Lyndon supplied several of their collections for this project, including their Keats Dining chairs, Orlo chairs and LUGE 2 seater sofa.

Left: Lyndon Keats is an occasional timber framed seating collection that is available with or without arms, Keats offers the ultimate in comfort and luxury courtesy of a seat recess that carries additional foam and a curved and contoured back design. Right: Lyndon Orlo’s smooth curves and simple lines reflect perfectly the design philosophy of David Fox.


Luge has been extended with the addition of a new two seater sofa that is the perfect compliment to the existing armchair. Designed by British designer, Nick Munro, this collection fuses a solid timber frame in Black American Walnut or European Oak with linear stitch detail on the seat and back.

Ali carefully selected furniture from BCFA member Teal including their Antics and Tonina designs.

Teal Tonina. Contemporary simplicity. Inspired by shapes in nature. Exclusive design by Claudio Dondoli. 100% recyclable chair with or without arms. Stacking multi-purpose chair. 6 colour options.


Teal Antics. Contemporary sofa with retro styling. Elegant low back design. Removable seat

BCFA member Panaz fabrics were specified widely throughout the Academic Palliative Care Unit, with both Voyager and Highland specified for the upholstery of Teal and Lyndon furniture.


Panaz Voyager, a flame retardant collection of contract jacquard fabrics.


Panaz Highland.

In 2014 Ali was also commissioned by the Trust to review and recommend a colour scheme Wayfinder for the new Royal Liverpool Hospital due for completion in 2018.  This scheme provides an appealing and clear colour plan for visitors & staff to navigate around the new hospital with careful consideration given to the purpose of each floor and suitability of colour for patients with dementia and impaired visibility.

Contact Ali Munro

Contact Lyndon

Contact Teal

Contact Panaz

About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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