Case study: Improving and upgrading in-patient facilities

Key facts
Project Type: Development and Project Management
Client: Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust
Location: East Yorkshire (four different sites)
Value: £2.2m
Duration: Two years

The brief
The Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust set out on scoping a major programme of refurbishment works to improve and upgrade existing in-patient facilities across East Yorkshire.

Works were identified to five wards across four facilities:
• Miranda House
• Westlands
• Newbridges
• Millview, Castle Hill Hospital

The challenge
All the buildings provide critical services to patients from the region all of whom have varying and complex healthcare needs. In sensitive environments such as these, building works and upgrades are often put on hold due to risks associated with disrupting staff and patients. This, in conjunction with site security restrictions and matters of health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic, made for an extremely challenging, but crucial project.

All the works were required to be completed whilst the main function of the buildings remained live and able to treat patients.

Two principal aims were identified for the project which were:

1. Improving the patient experience –
These works involved redecorations, new flooring, upgraded LED Lighting, improved entrance screens, and refurbished clinic rooms.

2. Improving patient safety. –
Replacement of windows, new internal bedroom doors and intergraded vision panels, replacement and upgrade of anti-ligature radiator covers.

The solution
Citycare were appointed to work alongside the Trust developing the project from initial brief through design development. Managing a competitive tender exercise to procure a suitable contractor and overseeing the successful delivery of the scheme through the construction phases.

A project team was established all with previous experience working within mental health and inpatient environments. This included external consultants appointed to Citycare, Seatswood Architects, Vic Coupland Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, GGP Consulting Engineers, Radius Associates and Morgan Wolff Building Control Advisors.

Citycare and the project team consulted extensively with the Trust and nominated service leads for each of the buildings to build a specific set of requirements for each. We also engaged wider member of the Trusts Estates and clinical teams such as the electrical and mechanical officers, Hotel Services, and IPC (Infection Prevention and Control).

A competitive tender exercise was completed whereby there were several strong bids for the works. Assessment completed by the Trust resulted in the appointment of Sewell Construction Ltd as the principal contractor.

The theme of engagement continued with the contractor as it was critical that works were planned around the staff and patients. A complex programme and phasing strategy was developed alongside the Trust and Sewell. Through construction there was daily communication between the Citycare team and those on site to ensure the fast paced and dynamic programme ran smoothly.

Where challenges did arise the strong relationships, experience, and knowledge of those involved meant that these were resolved quickly and efficiently. Even where Covid shut down activity on one site we were able to quickly mobilise another to minimise downtime, programme, and cost impact to the Trust.

On site, the Sewell Construction team showed their experience working flexibly around staff and patient needs.

Jonathan Ramsey, Senior Consultant for Citycare said:
“This has been a very challenging project but a very rewarding one, seeing regular and significant improvements through the programme of works. The clinical teams do an amazing job, and I am pleased that we have been able to work alongside them to complete this project whilst they still deliver critical services.

“The strong working partnership developed between Citycare,  the Trust and Sewell Construction has been crucial to the successful delivery of the project”.

The results
Works completed to 188 rooms, five clinic rooms, five staircases, 195m2 of corridor and 34 handovers later and the four facilities have been completely transformed.

All the works were completed to a high standard with the overall condition of the facilities much improved and modernised. Critical works identified for safety improvements were completed.

Despite Covid implications, supply and materials challenges all works were completed to the agreed programme. Patient and staff disruption was kept to a minimum and all facilities were able to remain operational.

Dan Laughton, Projects and Strategic Development Manager for Humber Teaching NHS FT said:

“This was a high priority project for the Trust that required a significant amount of planning and management to ensure successful delivery.

“Citycare worked very closely with the Estates and Clinical teams and delivered the project in a professional manner using their extensive experience and knowledge working through challenges ultimately delivering a successful project. Myself and my team look forward to working with the Citycare team moving forward.”