News round-up: Construction and design

New entrance matting at Sevenoaks

AS PART of a recent refurbishment, Sevenoaks Hospital in Kent has installed Frontrunner Plus entrance matting in the main entrance, complete with an integral logo to welcome visitors. Manufactured by Plastic Extruders, Frontrunner Plus is made with integral absorbent inserts within a vinyl grid. This combination scrapes, cleans and dries shoes and wheelchair wheels while any remaining dirt falls through the grid and is not transferred inside, helping to reduce cleaning and maintenance costs. It is also stick and wheel-proof, which is important for disabled visitors to the hospital, which specialises in rehabilitation.

Welsh mental health boost

ARCHITECTS firm, Stride Treglown, is continuing its work for Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University (ABMU) Health Board in Wales as it begins on site at Ty Einon - a new project in Gorseinon. The development, which replaces outdated accommodation, will provide space for a multi-use mental health clinic and community mental health teams. A Stride Treglown spokesman said: “Our inclusive design has been developed with input from local groups. From the main entrances, visitors will arrive directly into the waiting areas, where they can be collected by staff and taken for their relevant consultation or treatment. Publicly-accessed areas are located on the ground floor and disabled spaces are positioned directly next to the entrance. Due for completion March 2012, Ty Einon is one of several projects the company is working on for ABMU, including major refurbishment works at both Singleton and Morriston Hospitals in Swansea.

Sterile services unit opens at Yeovil

A STERILE services department has opened at Yeovil District Hospital following a £3.8m investment. The facility is located next to the operating theatres on Level 5 in a purpose-built unit and will supply operating theatres with sterile instruments, and wards and departments with specific items required for patient care. It will also provide a centralised facility for the cleaning, washing and disinfection of endoscopes. The building consists of three distinct areas – a wash area, packing area and autoclave area – and is the first sterile services unit in the country to receive a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for best practice in sustainable design. Yvonne Thorne, head of nursing responsible for the unit, said: “Keeping our patients safe is our top priority. This investment in the sterile services unit ensures that all our operating equipment is decontaminated to the highest of standards.”

Cardiovascular research plan for Leicester

THE University of Leicester has unveiled plans for a £12.6m cardiovascular research centre that will double the amount of space available for world-class heart research. The university has announced that Morgan Sindall has been awarded the contract to construct the new facility at Leicester's Glenfield Hospital. The four-storey extension is at the hospital’s existing clinical sciences wing which houses the university's medical research and teaching facilities. Designed by ADP Architects of Birmingham, the 2,200sq m unit will further strengthen and consolidate Leicester's position as a leading international centre for heart research. Professor Nilesh Samani, the British Heart Foundation professor of cardiology at the University of Leicester, said: ”The centre will provide high-quality laboratory and academic space that will be essential in realising our bold and novel research vision and will ultimately benefit families and patients whose lives have been affected by cardiovascular disease.” Steve O’Connor, director of development at the university, added: “The university has committed more than £8m of its scarce capital resources to this major project and has launched an appeal to raise more than £4m to complete and equip the building.” Work is due for completion in February 2012.

Thumbs-up for Cardiff mental health unit

WELSH Health Minister, Edwina Hart, has approved plans for the development of a new inpatient adult mental health unit in Cardiff. The facility at the University Hospital will bring together existing adult and specialist services currently provided at Whitchurch Hospital and the Llanfair Unit, Llandough. The plans follow a review of mental health services by Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. In total, the Government has earmarked in excess of £90m for the new unit. Hart said: “We are committed to continually improving mental health facilities. Once opened, this development will improve the care for patients and the working environment for staff. By bringing together a range of services and staff under one roof will ensure we maximise the skills of all staff for the benefit of patients.” Mutale Merrill, vice chairman of the Cardiff health board, added: “This decision is a key step forward in our work to improve local services for people with mental health needs. The benefits of a single, purpose-built unit on the University Hospital Llandough site, co-located with other health services, will be enormous.”

Emergency care centre opens in Wales

A NEW emergency care centre at Merthyr Tydfils Prince Charles Hospital has been officially opened by Health Minister, Edwina Hart. The £22m facility will speed up treatment for patients and substantially improve the emergency care environment for patients and staff. Dr Chris Jones, chairman of Cwm Taf Health Board, said: “These facilities will enable our staff to bring up-to-date modern treatment to our community. Together with the Merthyr Tydfil Health Park, which is due to open in 2013, these two critical developments provide a platform to transform care within our community and reinforce the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to tackling health inequalities.”

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Work has been completed on a new extension at the Southampton Centre for Biomedical Research. The six-story new-build facility features a rainbow-coloured facade and was designed and constructed by Henderson Green, Studio Four Architects and Kier Brazier.

Seeing an NHS dentist is about to get easier for Eastleigh residents when the Genix Dental Care surgery opens later this month. The practice will take on more than 8,000 new patients over the coming weeks.

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