The McAvoy Group has been awarded its largest healthcare project to date – a £15 m contract for the offsite construction of a new wing at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.
Due for completion next Spring, the 6,500 m2, three-storey building will be linked to the existing hospital. The first floor will be fitted out as part of this contract to accommodate one of the UK’s first purpose-designed Ambulatory Care units, with the other two floors fitted out in the next phase of the development.
The Ambulatory Care Unit will provide medical, surgical, and nurse practitioner-led care in a relaxed and comfortable environment, allowing up to 150 patients to be treated the same day across four specialisms, without the need for hospital admissions. McAvoy says this will ‘help de-congest’ the emergency department, allowing patients to be seen by the most appropriate clinician earlier.
McAvoy will construct the new wing using ‘an advanced offsite solution’ to reduce the build programme by half to under 12 months. Robert Sanderson, deputy director of Capital Projects at Northumbria Healthcare FML said, “The quality of the facility to meet the clinical requirements is our main driver for a McAvoy offsite solution. We will also benefit from a huge reduction in the build programme – from at least two years to just 12 months. This will bring enormous benefits for reducing waiting times in A&E next year, and the new ambulatory care unit will enable us to assess, treat and discharge patients more quickly.”
The project features a number of innovations in offsite construction. It will use larger, bespoke modules up to 14.85 m long specially engineered to provide a structural flooring solution that ‘seamlessly integrates’ with the existing hospital building. This will meet the key requirement for efficient patient flows, removing the need for ramps and steps.
Mechanical ventilation, heating, and cooling systems will be installed in the ceiling voids in the McAvoy factory – believed to be a healthcare sector first.
Designed by healthcare specialist, P+HS Architects, working with McAvoy as principal contractor, the new wing will replicate the appearance of the existing hospital, which opened in 2015. It will have a faceted external facade to create curved ends to the wing and will be finished in blue and white render. This hybrid construction solution has a three-storey offsite structure with an in-situ built curved link on each floor, a rooftop plant room, and full-height stair towers.
Raymond Millar, Construction director of The McAvoy Group, said: “We are again pushing the boundaries of offsite construction. This is a highly complex project on a live hospital site. We are integrating with the design of the existing hospital and using offsite construction to deliver the building to a very short programme, achieve exceptional value for money, and work to the Trust’s stringent quality standards. We have developed a hybrid solution which incorporates both offsite and in-situ building methods, and are maximising fit-out in the factory for this first phase to enhance quality and reduce disruption to staff and patients.”
The dedicated, 2,000 m2 facility for ambulatory care will provide services in medicine, surgery, gynaecology, and orthopaedics. Facilities include waiting areas; interview, assessment, and treatment rooms; plaster room with mobile x-ray; trolley bays; patient lounges; ultrasound; single en suite rooms; a nurse’s station; staff rest room; clinical stores; utility rooms, and an open-plan office.
The scheme was awarded through the NHS Shared Business Services framework.