News round-up: Construction and design

Read on for our weekly round-up of healthcare construction and design news, including completions, new contract wins, up-coming developments and the deployment of innovative products

Milestone for Helier project


THE £219m redevelopment of St Helier Hospital has taken another step forward with a team of expert ground surveyors boring holes of up to 200feet across the site in preparation for building work to start. A team of specialists spent three weeks drilling bore holes to check that the ground near to where demolition work will take place is strong enough. They also drilled holes in the carpark to make sure the ground is strong enough for the construction of a new multi-storey parking facility.

Tim Wilkins, project director, said: “Since securing the funding to redevelop the hospital, we’ve been busy behind the scenes doing lots of planning to get work underway, including getting detailed designs drawn up. While there is still lots to do before we build the new wing, it was great to get the ground surveyors on site. Their high drills were hard to miss and the work they carried out is key to getting everything in place for the JCBs to arrive on site and to start knocking down the parts of the hospital that will be replaced.”

The next stage of the redevelopment involves moving people and clinics out of the area that will be demolished so workers can begin knocking the current building down in spring 2013. Once completed, the new building will house 346 beds, 50% in single rooms accommodation; a new outpatients department; a pharmacy department, and a centralised eye clinic. It will open in early 2017.

Improvements start at West Mid

WORK has now begun on the construction of a new urgent care centre at West Middlesex University Hospital in Isleworth, west London. The hospital’s existing A&E department was originally designed to treat an anticipated 60,000 patients a year when it opened in 2003. However, the number of patients actually treated has risen steadily each year and last year topped 105,000, making it one of the busiest A&E departments in the country. By having a purpose-built urgent care centre adjacent to A&E, patients who are feeling unwell or have a minor injury and cannot wait until their next GP appointment can be seen in a more appropriate setting. This will free up the A&E department to treat patients who need emergency care for a serious condition. Simon Marshall, project lead, said: “The modular design allows most of the construction work to be completed off-site to help minimise disruption. However, as the project progresses there will inevitably be some unavoidable disruption, which will mean some changes in access routes to the department, but we will continue to provide a full A&E service throughout the project.” Building work is expected to be completed in mid-January.

Revamp of Hull A&E begins

WORK has begun on refurbishing and extending the A&E department at Hull Royal Infirmary, bringing it into the 21st Century and making it one of the largest in the country. The new department will have separate areas for children, minor injuries and major injuries, and the £7m transformation is expected to take 18 months to two years to complete. Dr Mark Simpson, clinical lead for A&E at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Working in the emergency department is very challenging on a daily basis. On most days, we will unfortunately have patients on trolleys in corridors. These changes are about being seen by the right person, the senior decision-makers, first-hand, and being seen in the right place at the right time.”

Facelift for sexual health centre

FACILITIES at the contraceptive and sexual health clinic at 6 Regent Road, Lowestoft, are about to undergo a facelift with the start of a six-month refurbishment and extension project. Commissioned by NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, the work will begin on 17 October and once finished will give the clinic a new reception area with disabled access and extra clinical space. The service will remain open as usual during the building work. Claire Tyler, interim service manager, said: “We are really excited about the investment in this service and are looking forward to seeing patients in a brighter, more-accessible, modern facility.”

Seddon wins Somerset contract

SEDDON Construction has won the contract to build a new health centre in South Petherton, Somerset. Commissioned by Haven Health, the three-storey GP surgery has been designed by BRP Architects and will be built opposite South Petherton Community Hospital, which opened this summer. The facility will replace the existing surgery in the centre of the village and will incorporate an adjoining pharmacy. Development is expected to be completed next summer. Grant Millar, business unit manager at Seddon Construction, said: “This is going to be a terrific new facility for local people in south Petherton.”

Refurbishment at Surrey hospital

A HOSPITAL in Surrey which provides treatment for both private and NHS patients has unveiled the first stage of a multi-million pound refurbishment. Ashtead Hospital, run by Ramsay Health Care, now boasts a lighter, brighter reception area and a new care lounge for private patients. The 28 patient rooms will be renovated during the second phase of the work, along with the installation of new MRI and CT scanners Robert Taylor, a vascular surgeon at the hospital, said: “I'm convinced as a surgeon that if you provide patients with a nice environment they do better and this is something I have been fighting for in the NHS all my life.”

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