Specialist winter pressures ward delivered – fast

Modular expert, Portakabin, has built the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow a bespoke surgical ward in four months.

Named ‘The Charnley Ward’, it has been suspended 25 feet above a car park, and is linked directly to the hospital’s first floor.  With the hospital running at capacity, an urgent need for additional ward space meant any solution had to be built upwards, rather than outwards. From the decision to construct the ward last August, to its December opening, the Trust worked closely with Portakabin to get the facility built on the existing tight site footprint. 

The Charnley Ward is a 27-bed ward designed to expand capacity, ease pressure on the hospital’s Emergency Department, and improve patient flow. Co-located next to theatres, it provides a seamless transition for patients to a ward bed following surgery. 

Raul Silva, Charnley Ward manager, said: “As a dedicated surgical ward, it co-locates patients next to operating theatres, and makes for a smoother patient journey, better outcomes, and an enhanced experience for our patients. It provides more spacious, modern facilities, with airconditioning and en-suite bathrooms.” 

The ward was named by the hospital’s Patient Panel after Sir John Charnley – the famous British orthopaedic surgeon who pioneered hip replacement operations.