News round-up: Construction and design

Plans unveiled for Sussex hospital revamp

PLANS have been unveiled for the £420m redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. The Government has agreed funding for the scheme subject to planning approval from Brighton and Hove City Council. The existing buildings on the site are 180 years old and will be replaced with modern purpose-built facilities. As part of the proposals, The Centre for Neurosciences is also being relocated to the new site, enabling the Royal Sussex County Hospital to become a major trauma centre for the region. The Sussex Cancer Centre will also be expanded to include a new chemotherapy day unit, increasing the radiotherapy service and doubling the number of beds in the oncology ward. In addition, the redevelopment will mean the hospital can provide state-of-the-art teaching, training and research facilities.

Modular approach used at Hull

MODULAR buildings have been used to create a new outpatient and training facility at Hull Royal Infirmary. Designed and built by Portakabin for East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, the 3,000sq m, three-storey facility was completed in just seven months as part of a £7m investment. In total, 50 specially-made steel-framed modules were used to create the centre. They were taken from another building on the hospital site that had become surplus to requirements. Commenting on the project, Duncan Taylor, head of estates, said: “Speed was the principal reason for using modular construction for this project, which enabled us to reduce the programme time by around six months. The solution also allowed us to re-use the structure of an existing modular ward building, minimising both cost and waste sent to landfill. The result is a really excellent scheme with facilities we are very proud of. Feedback from staff and patients has been extremely positive since the building opened.” The 200-room building houses ophthalmology services on the ground floor, dermatology services on the first floor, and a clinical skills centre on the top floor featuring a simulated ward, critical care unit and theatre suite.

Topping-out ceremony marks milestone

A LANDMARK building in Bolton, which will provide health, leisure and research facilities under one roof, is a step closer to becoming a reality. A topping-out ceremony was recently held at the site of the new Bolton One centre to mark the completion of the outside structure. Due to open early next year, the facility is a partnership between NHS Bolton, Bolton Council and the University of Bolton and will include an eight-lane, 25m competition swimming pool; a therapeutic hydrotherapy pool; a fitness suite; aerobics studio; and community gym. It will also feature an NHS-managed urgent care unit, diagnostic and treatment centre, GP out-of-hours services, clinical skills laboratories, teaching rooms and a rehabilitation suite. Pam Senior, chairman of NHS Bolton, said: “It’s great that this magnificent landmark building has now taken its full shape. This is a shining example of partnership work and it will offer real benefits to the people of Bolton for many years to come.”

Alliance formed to tackle primary care estate

Up until the white paper, GPs were doing their own thing. They are now all talking to each other and looking at the way they can do things and are particularly looking to relocate or develop new facilities

THREE companies from the West Midlands have formed an alliance to help GP clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) improve and enhance the primary care estate. Chartered surveyors, Johnson Fellows; architectural design firm, The Space Studio; and construction consultants, Northcroft, have previously worked on the Wrekin Community Clinic in Telford; a development that saw the conversion of a former office into an ophthalmology facility for NHS Telford and Wrekin. Now the three Birmingham firms are looking to support CCGs as they prioritise healthcare services and invest in facilities closer to patients’ homes. Kevin Singh, director of The Space Studio, said: “This partnership of three companies will bring together all of our skills, experience and expertise, from finding a site, looking at funding, designing and managing the whole process from start to finish.” Andrew Rowson of Johnson Fellows added: “Up until the white paper, GPs were doing their own thing. In Telford, for example, there are 22 GP practices that will be providing welfare services for that area. They are now all talking to each other and looking at the way they can do things and are particularly looking to relocate or develop new facilities.”

Offenders give something back

OFFENDERS are helping to give a facelift to staff accommodation at Basildon University Hospital in Essex. Essex Probation Community Payback workers have been cleaning and decorating vacant properties and communal areas every Sunday as part of their sentence. Jenny Galpin, director of estates at the hospital, said: “ They are currently working on the communal staff accommodation stairwells and the improvement is visible already. Their work has improved the general cleanliness of the residential grounds for our workers.” She added: “This project has been of benefit to the residential staff community at the hospital as they can see the evidence very clearly, but I hope that it has been a success for the wider community too, as the workers have been able to give something back to their community and learn skills that can take their lives in a positive direction.”

ALSO IN THE NEWS:

The Sowerby Bridge branch of the Meadow Dale Group Practice will open in Station Road, Halifax, next month. Services at the GP centre will be provided by Assura Leeds LLP, a partnership of 26 practices and leading healthcare provider, Assura Medical. Dr Ken McGechaen, a GP and chairman of Assura Leeds LLP, said: “We are committed to providing patients with high-quality, easy and convenient access to a GP or nurse.”

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