A ‘seamless’ theatre refurb project in Bedford

Medical Air Technology (MAT) has completed the refurbishment of a pre-existing operating theatre complex at Bedford Hospital, upgrading both theatres 3 and 4 with the addition of ECO-flow Dynamic ultraclean ventilation (UCV) systems. The new ultraclean theatres will allow the hospital to increase its orthopaedic output and expand its range of surgeries. MAT was appointed directly by the hospital, winning the contract in a competitive tender with a submission that the company says showed it ‘offered not only the best equipment package and shortest delivery period, but also the best overall understanding of the project’.

MAT undertook a total design and build turnkey refurbishment, necessitating a complete reconfiguration of the layout in both theatres and new HVAC systems. The extensive refit included ECO-flow 2800 UCV canopies, operating lights, pendants, theatre control panels, furniture, floors, lighting, sanitaryware, IPS and UPS, chillers, air-handling units, ductwork, pipework, and HVAC controls. MAT designed, manufactured, and installed major roof-mounted steelwork and maintenance access walkways for the two new AHUs, and a new chiller to support the existing unit, which supplies cooling to the whole building.

MAT explained: “Nearly 11,000 operations were undertaken at Bedford Hospital in 2017, and to sustain this level it was important that essential theatre capacity was not affected while the refurbishment was underway. To ensure this, before work began on theatres 3 and 4, the hospital commissioned a new modular theatre, replicating the equipment within the main complex to ensure continuity and familiarity for staff and clinical team members. While it was being built, we undertook the roof plant installation, necessitating close liaison between us, the hospital’s Estates department, and the modular theatre supplier. When the latter came online, theatre 3 was closed to allow the refurbishment to start. The seamless, efficient programme ensured that theatre lists were unaffected.”

Stephen Conroy, CEO of Bedford Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Finding a solution to improving our theatres has posed a significant challenge, and a lot of thought, planning, and hard work has gone into finding a solution so that we can better meet the 18-week referral to treatment pathway. Refurbishing our theatre complex will allow us to make sure our current operating rooms are fit for the future.”



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