Medical Air Technology enhances and upgrades at Barnet Hospital

Medical Air Technology (MAT) has come to the end of a major project at Barnet Hospital, which has seen the complete refurbishment of its five main operating theatres, and the refurbishment and remodelling of a day surgery unit.

MAT was brought into the project by Bouygues Energies and Services (BYES), the service provider responsible for the hospital’s facilities maintenance and lifecycle replacement works and part of Bouygues Construction, who built the hospital in 2003 under the government’s Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

The hospital is now operated by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. The extremely positive relationship that exists between the trust, BYES and MAT, combined with the support given by hospital staff, has ensured the project has run smoothly over the three years since it was first discussed, and has been completed on time and within budget.

MAT was brought into the project because it was able to provide the specialist input BYES and the hospital wanted, advising, costing and developing a scheme to encompass the latest technology and give theatres enhanced equipment and performance, as well as bringing them back to their original standard.

MAT started working with BYES early in 2014 to develop the scheme, and the final installation reflects the amount of time, planning and care that all involved committed to the project. All work was carried out in a live healthcare environment, and had to be managed accordingly to ensure that hygiene, patient welfare, and the day-to-day running of the hospital was uninterrupted.

The work at Barnet was initiated to ensure the hospital could continue to offer the “world class expertise – local care” to which it is so committed. The original theatres were nearing the end of their lifecycle, and the hospital was keen to embrace the latest developments in theatre design and technology as part of their refurbishment.

The remodelled day surgery unit, which incorporates an adult assessment unit (AAU), will help to ease winter bed pressures and diagnostic waiting times, enabling the hospital to work with increased efficiency.

The first of the five theatres was launched in early 2016, and features an ultraclean ventilation canopy from MAT’s energy-efficient ECO-flow range, making it suitable for orthopaedic surgery. The four remaining theatres have all had theatre vent upgrades, new operating lights, touchscreen surgeon’ panels, PACS systems, new doors, Whiterock wall finishes, terrazzo floor refurbishment, furniture, sanitary ware, lighting and small power and medical gases – everything needed to bring them right up to date to ensure the best experience for clinical teams and the best outcome for patients.

The project progressed so well that midway through the work on the new theatres, BYES and the trust approached MAT to discuss broadening the scope of work to include the day surgery unit. The unit has been remodelled to include the adult assessment unit (AAU), enabling patients to be assessed and treated quickly, minimising overnight stays and streamlining patient flow.

The unit has had a full internal redesign and upgrade, including mechanical and electrical systems, medical gases, finishes, furniture and new bathrooms.

The AAU was completed within 18 weeks, opening to patients at the end of 2016. It has an open, light and airy feel with brightly coloured murals and artwork to enhance the patient experience while maintaining high standards of clinical practice and infection control.

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