The Lawson Unit is moving up!

Many of you will now have been notified that the Lawson Unit clinic will be moving to the new hospital building across the road.

UPDATE 2/11/2022 – We have been informed that the move is likely to happen by Spring 2023

The Lawson Unit has been a familiar fixture for patients and staff for many years. We are fortunate to have this upgrade to the clinical space, but we very much want to keep the essence of the Lawson Unit and transfer it to the new location. We will be located in our own private space on 6th Floor with stunning views, large clinic rooms and a bright and modern environment.

The Lawson Unit team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and reception team will remain exactly the same.
The same high-quality structure of care you’ve always received at Lawson Unit will remain exactly the same. 


Information from main hospital website:
The 3Ts hospital redevelopment – Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (

The 3Ts Redevelopment is a construction programme to modernise the front half of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. Split over three stages, the redevelopment will replace all of the buildings on the front of the site with two new clinical facilities and a much needed logistics yard. Carrying out the redevelopment in three stages allows all clinical services to continue running during the works.

The redevelopment will provide state-of-the-art accommodation for more than 40 wards and departments. It will improve patient experience across all these services and provide a care environment that enables the best possible healthcare for all. The improvements will benefit patients, staff, visitors and healthcare students. The new facilities will make it easier to deliver care at the bedsides of patients and will help fulfil the trust’s teaching role as a university hospital. The outpatient facilities will be spacious and modern with innovations that maximise patients’ privacy and dignity. Overall the redevelopment will support the Trust’s roles as a district general hospital, specialist tertiary centre, teaching hub and major trauma centre.

The construction of Stage 1, on the south east quarter of the site, is almost complete. Its upper floors will house inpatient wards and services. These will include the wards from the Barry Building, the oldest acute inpatient building in the NHS. The wards moving from the Barry Building will have five times as much space per bed compared to their current accommodation. Just over 65% of the beds in the new buildings will be in single, en-suite rooms, with the rest in single gender, four bedded bays. The large majority of patients staying on these wards will have a sea-view from their room.

The lower floors of the Stage 1 Building will be home to outpatient and diagnostic services. These will be accommodated in spacious, modern surroundings with innovations to improve the patient experience throughout. The first and sixth floors of the building will have public facing services including reception, general waiting, retail, café, welfare and well-being facilities.

The hospital’s main entrance will be on the first floor of Stage 1. It will make navigating the site much easier for everyone. Patient transfers from the Emergency Department to services in the new building will be up to three times quicker than is currently possible. Patients and visitors will be able to get to any part of the main hospital site without having to negotiate stairs or slopes. There will be parking for patients and visitors in the basement of the building, with direct access to the building’s main reception area.

At the same time as the construction of Stage 1, a new helideck is being built on top of the Thomas Kemp Tower, in the centre of the hospital. It will allow patients brought in by air ambulance to be taken directly to the Emergency Department in a dedicated lift. This will significantly decreasing the time it takes to get the most severely ill and injured patients from the air ambulance to the Emergency Department. Currently the air ambulance lands in East Brighton Park and patients are then transferred to the hospital by road ambulance. The helideck is expected to come into operation in 2021.

Stage 2 of the 3Ts Redevelopment will focus on expanding and improving services for Cancer patients, and on aspects of emergency care. Work on it will start once Stage 1 is complete and services have decanted into the new building. Stage 2 will take up the south west quarter of the hospital site.

Stage 3, the new logistics yard, will be built once Stage 2 is complete, and will be located on the site of the current Cancer Centre, next to Bristol Gate. It will concentrate the logistics management of the site into an accessible and modern area with direct access into the Stage 1 Building.

Once complete the 3Ts Redevelopment will benefit more than one hundred thousand patients, visitors and staff every year.



Dr George Finlay reports: It’s not often that you see a politician speechless, but that was the effect our 3Ts development had on Brighton MP Caroline Lucas when we took a group of stakeholders round the site at RSCH on Friday.

“I do feel a bit speechless, to be honest,” she said. “The space, the airiness and, of course, the views are just extraordinary.”
You can read the full feedback from the visit on the UHSussex website – Chichester MP Gillian Keegan also described the new facilities as “amazing” for patients – but this tweet sums up the tone:




Some images of our new space:

New reception desk looking into waiting room (Still a bit of a construction site)

Reception desk (Can you imagine Ness and Caroline working hard here?)

Looking out from new waiting room (Zoe pondering the views in her high-viz jacket)

Arial view of the 3Ts buildings


Questions / comments / feedback from patients

Q. Will the Lawson Unit name be kept the same
A. All of the new 3Ts departments have been assigned names/numbers based on their location (for example, 1a 1b 2a 2b). The Lawson Unit will be location on floor 6, so all signage will direct you to ‘6a’ (which will be The Lawson Unit). We are planning to have a ‘Lawson Unit’ sign when you enter the new space at 6a.

Q. Will my usual doctor and nurse stay the same
A. Staffing will be completely unchanged and you’ll still be seen by your usual team. The only thing that’s changing is the location.

Q. How will I collect my prescriptions if moving to the new hospital building?
A. Prescriptions will still be dispensed by Pharm@Sea or Alcura, and can be collected or delivered as currently.

Comment. “I’ve been a Lawson Unit patient for many years. I’m worried that it won’t feel like a family any longer”
Response. The Lawson Unit has been a familiar fixture for patients and staff for many years. By keeping many of the existing fixtures and fittings within The Lawson Unit, and the same quirky staff, we always aim to keep that friendly atmosphere.


What do our team think?

The Lawson unit team have been waiting for this move for a long time and are looking forward to being in a spacious purpose-built unit with air conditioning and amazing views of the sea. Being located in the main hospital in a designated clinic space will give patients easy access to other services and facilities and for the first time, HIV outpatient and inpatient services will be co –located on the same floor. There is feeling of cautious excitement as the team prepare for the move and focus on how best to use the fabulous space we have been given. The move is also an opportunity to develop new working relationships while maintaining strong links with existing colleagues and services.

Some staff (but by no means all!) are welcoming the opportunity to walk up 6 flights to get to the unit and to boost keep their daily step count. Rest assured there is a lift for everyone else!

Now that the move is imminent, some team members are really sad to be leaving the Lawson Unit and very conscious of how big a change this will be for both patients and staff. There is an overriding desire to settle in as quickly as possible so the team can continue to stay ahead of the game providing care for people living with HIV.



Page last updated 15/11/2022