By Raymond Hainey
Source: The Royal Gazette
A paediatric practice has created a new home from home in a former residential property.
Edgewood Pediatrics has moved from offices in Gorham Road in Hamilton to a detached house in nearby Richmond Road.
Edgewood’s Dr Richard Fulton said the move was prompted by a need for more space — and a desire to make a trip to the doctor for children less intimidating.
Dr Fulton said: “Gorham Road was great — but it really wasn’t big enough. And the new facility is really lovely. It’s bigger and better.”
He added: “We tried to make more of a home from home, rather than having children coming in and feeling scared.
“A lot children will associate a practice with having shots and things. We’ve tried hard to create a waiting room that children will feel comfortable with as soon as they walk in.”
The new premises for the oldest continuously running children’s specialist practice in Bermuda, features a play area for toddlers and a castle for older children to play in while they wait to see a doctor.
Dr Fulton, a third generation medic, said: “The waiting room is very accessible and very good for relaxing kids when they come in. The whole office has a welcoming type of feel to it.
“Hopefully, the children will feel more that they are at someone’s home rather than going to a clinical setting for a check-up.”
Dr Fulton said that — despite a dramatic fall in Bermuda’s birth rate — the practice had seen a slight increase in the number of patients.
He added that, while his father was practising, the birth rate on the Island peaked at just over 1,000 births a year, but that had fallen to below 600 in the space of a decade.
But Dr Fulton said: “In terms of the number of patients we have, there are still lots of people moving to the Island, although the birth rate is dropping.
“The America’s Cup, things like that, will also bring a number of new patients to the Island.”
The new premises were created by architects Botelho Wood and builders SJ Construction.
Dr Fulton said: “The Botelho’s guys have done a number of offices around the Island. Turning a house into an office is quite complex and they were very patient with the planning regulations.
“It’s very clean finishes, which adds to the look, but they also managed to keep that home from home look — they’ve done a great job.”
Botelho Wood partner Germano Botelho said colleague Jason Mackertich had taken the lead role in the redesign.
Mr Botelho added: “It basically took a lot of careful reshuffling and laying out of the spaces to make it function, especially with all the plumbing requirements for a doctors’ practice and, at the same time, give it that homey feel.
“I put it down to design and our design style has always been clean lines without all the fuss. If Dr Fulton is happy, we’re happy.”