MAT and iSIGHT – a shared vision for upgraded theatre facilities

Medical Air Technology installs ventilation and temperature control in listed building at Southport ophthalmology clinic

iSIGHT's listed building posed significant challenges for the MAT team

“As the practice manager, and undertaking such a large project while still serving the patients, I thought it would be a major headache onsite on a daily basis.

“How wrong I was! MAT and all contractors employed by them were nothing but professional, mindful of our business, polite and an absolute pleasure to work with.

“And at each stage of the journey we were kept informed and changes implemented when issues arose. I cannot recommend MAT highly enough.”

These are comments from Natalie Pepper, practice manager at the iSIGHT Clinic in Southport.

During the recent project at iSIGHT, Medical Air Technology (MAT) was faced with the many challenges that accompany carrying out work in a listed building.

The ophthalmology clinic, which offers a wide range of procedures including laser vision correction, refractive surgery, and cosmetic eye surgery; is housed in the historic grade II listed Drayton House, which was built in the 1840s.

iSIGHT was the first clinic in Britain to offer specialist daycase ophthalmic treatment in a non-hospital environment, the building’s elegant Victorian façade concealing the modern facilities housed within.

iSIGHT has always placed great emphasis on the importance of offering its patients the most-technologically-advanced treatment arena.

And when ventilation and temperature control in the operating theatre had to be upgraded to bring it in line with the latest standards outlined in HTM 03-01, iSIGHT needed to find a specialist contractor that would be able to take on this complex project.

In initial meetings with the clinic’s owner, consultant ophthalmologist Dr Tayo Akingbehin, MAT was quickly able to demonstrate that it not only had the necessary experience, but also an appreciation of the constraints that would surround the work and an understanding of how the new installation could be incorporated within a listed building.

The listing required that no alterations were to be done to the building fabric or structure and that detailed planning permission would be required.

Work was complicated further by the fact that the operating theatre is located in a low, vaulted basement that lies below the water table.

MAT’s scheme of works had to demonstrate strict adherence to the planning requirements, which was achieved by routing the new ductwork to avoid structural alterations while at the same time maintaining the waterproofing of the basement.

Clever planning allowed the air handling unit (AHU) and controls to be installed in an adjacent garage.

As iSIGHT is located in a residential area, it was important to minimise disruption to the surrounding buildings while work was underway and also to ensure that, once running, the new plant would not disturb the neighbours or look out of place.

Careful planning by MAT, and close liaison with the team at iSIGHT, meant that everything went smoothly and there have been no complaints about noise or disruption, either during the project or since the new ventilation has been operational.

MAT offers a wide range of services so is able to respond flexibly and quickly to the specific needs of each client, providing all the benefits that come from working with a specialist contractor.

With its own in-house UK manufacturing facility, and dedicated team of highly-skilled engineers; MAT manufactures and supplies bespoke equipment for demanding clinical arenas.

Clients can choose from several options, ranging from ultraclean ventilation (UCV) canopy or theatre ventilation equipment only, right through to a total turnkey package, ensuring they get exactly the solution they need.

In addition, MAT FM can provide a range of competitively-priced and highly-effective service and maintenance packages for all core products and turnkey solutions offered by MAT or other suppliers, ensuring that equipment is maintained, serviced and validated correctly for optimum performance.

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