Building installation phase completed for £15 m hospital wing in Northumbria

In a £15 m contract – the Group’s largest healthcare project to date – offsite construction specialist, The McAvoy Group, has craned the final modules into position for a new wing at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

The structure for the 6,500 m2 three-storey building was manufactured off site by McAvoy using the latest modular technology to minimise disruption to patient care and halve the build programme by half to under 12 months. The building was craned into position as 294 steel-framed modules ‘in a highly complex operation’, just 10 months after the initial meeting with the Trust.

Robert Sanderson, deputy director of Capital Projects, Northumbria Healthcare FML said: “This is a highly complex and ambitious scheme being delivered to a very tight timescale and to the Trust’s stringent quality standards. It has taken a real team effort to get to this stage in such a short time. I am pleased to report that the project is on track, despite some unprecedented weather during the installation phase, and the Trust and The McAvoy Group are working well together. We are looking forward to the completion of the new facilities for ambulatory care, which will bring enormous benefits for providing alternative pathways for patients needing urgent care.”

Raymond Millar, Construction director at The McAvoy Group, added: “This is a very challenging 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 short programme, and achieve exceptional value for money and the required quality standards. The installation of the final modules is a major milestone, and a significant achievement for the project team in the middle of winter and on such an exposed site.”

The new wing’s 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 The ambulatory care unit will provide medical, surgical, and gynaecology care, and accommodate a fracture clinic, allowing up to 150 patients to be treated the same day across four specialisms, without hospital admission. Northumbria Healthcare FML and the Trust say that this will ‘help de-congest’ the emergency department.

The new wing 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’, eliminating the need for ramps and steps. 

Mechanical ventilation, heating, and cooling systems have been installed in the ceiling voids in the McAvoy factory – believed to be an industry first in the healthcare sector.

Designed by P+HS Architects working with McAvoy as principal contractor, the wing will replicate the appearance of the existing hospital, which opened in 2015, with a faceted external facade to create curved ends, finished in blue and white render.

The hybrid construction solution has a three-storey offsite structure with an in-situ built curved link on each floor, a roof-top plant room, and full-height stair towers.

The ambulatory care facility will provide services in medicine, surgery, gynaecology and orthopaedics. Facilities include waiting areas; interview, assessment, and treatment rooms; a plaster room with mobile x-ray; trolley bays; patient lounges; ultrasound; single en suite rooms; 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.


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