News round-up: Construction and design

Work starts on colposcopy suite

WORK has started on a new colposcopy suite at Westmorland General Hospital. The facility will provide a waiting area, consulting room, treatment room and recovery area for colposcopy patients in the Kendal area, replacing unsuitable accommodation currently situated in the outpatients department. The design has been carried out in-house by the estates corporate services department at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, which will also project manage the six-week scheme.

£25m mental health unit opens in Essex

A NEW mental health unit providing adult acute, older people’s, low secure and detox services has opened in Essex. Designed by Devereux Architects, Sunflowers Court was commissioned by North East London NHS Foundation Trust at a cost of £25m and aims to provide patients with direct access to fresh air and natural daylight. Mark Carter, project director at Devereux Architects, said: “We have designed a building with patient wellbeing and recovery foremost in our minds, endeavouring to create an environment that, while safe and secure, caters for the choice of individuals. This can be smaller, intimate and quiet areas for reading, or larger open spaces that are fun and stimulating.” The facility, which was built by Kier London, provides a 15-bed low secure ward, a 16-bed detox ward, a 20-bed older people’s unit, a 20-bed male inpatient ward and a 20-bed female inpatient ward. It also features an energy centre with a ground source heat pump and anti-ligature fixtures and fittings.

Construction of Welsh hospital complete

CONSTRUCTION work is complete on the new £128m Caerphilly General Hospital after a 161-week building programme. Known locally as Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, the hospital has been delivered by contractor, BAM, and will be officially handed over to Aneurin Bevan Health Board at the end of this month. The building is spread over 31,000sq m and has 265 beds. During construction, 36,000 cubic metres of concrete was used and more than 4,000 tonnes of steel. Project manager, Andy Cavil, said: “I don't think you can build anything more socially rewarding than a hospital. It is definitely state-of-the-art. There are a lot of features in it such as bio-mass boilers and theatres with clean canopies, creating very sterile environments, and the car park is underneath so when patients look out of the extensive glazing, it is not a sea of cars. The healing environment is on the outside as well as the inside of the building.”

Work to start on Torbay revamp

WORK is due to start this month on a five-year £40m infrastructure renovation programme at Devon's Torbay Hospital. South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust awarded the refurbishment and repair contract to Miller HPS, which will start the project’s first phase with the provision of a new boiler house. Maureen Holdaway, assistant director of estates, facilities management and redevelopment at the trust, said: “The work taking place over the next five years will be to address some of the ongoing and necessary maintenance required to ensure that a large hospital such as Torbay can run both safely and efficiently. We will be working closely with our construction partners to ensure any disruption the work could cause is kept to a minimum.”

End of an era for Epsom hospital

WEST Park Hospital in Epsom, Surrey, is being demolished, marking the final phase of a project to clear Britain's largest complex of traditional psychiatric units. The hospital once housed 2,000 patients and is the last of five mental health facilities built on the site to be knocked down to make way for housing. The central tower of the hospital and some important buildings will be retained as part of the development of residential homes.

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Off-site construction specialist, Yorkon, has launched a new online video gallery to help improve the understanding of modular buildings among architects, contractors, specifiers and occupiers.

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