Interserve hands over new neonatal intensive care unit

Largest unit of its kind opens at Liverpool Women’s Hospital

Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust's newly revamped neonatal unit is the largest of its kind in the country

Interserve Construction has handed over a new neonatal unit to Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust following a major refurbishment and extension of the existing facility to create the largest unit of its kind in the UK.

Each year more than 1,000 families accompany their premature and critically-ill babies to the unit, which is a recognised centre of excellence for neonatal care.

And improvements to the existing facility were essential to respond to this demand, keep premature babies safe, and improve the patient and family experience, while also providing a solution to tackle clinical challenges.

The redevelopment also addresses the shortage of parental accommodation and will allow the unit to better comply with service specifications.

Clinical areas were carefully designed to deliver high standards of observation, privacy and dignity and to bring natural light into the building.

To reinforce this transformation architect, Gilling Dod, worked with clinical staff and parents to achieve a design that met the needs of all the stakeholders.

The Interserve team also engaged with parents who had used the hospital and specialist neonatal nurses, which helped to shape the design, providing a model of care for future projects.

Jennifer Deeney, head of neonatal nursing and operations at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The relationship with Interserve and their understanding of what we do has been fundamental in allowing us to keep the department fully functional during construction.

“The team learnt to understand our needs and to balance those with design and budget, meaning we have an amazing facility that will help us deliver world-class neonatal care into the future.”

Phil Shaw, divisional director at Interserve Construction, added: “By engaging with the trust we identified and managed the specific requirements for any temporary service provision between each phase. This ensured the works were planned accordingly with no impact on day-to-day operations and blue light services.

“The project delivery was also challenged by the current COVID crisis, but the project team worked together to keep the project on schedule without compromising the health and wellbeing of all those involved, and the support of the supply chain has been exemplary and ensured the project was delivered on time and within budget.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic Interserve ensured the design was flexible and it has been futureproofed for a potential second wave, with additional hand hygiene stations, temporary lobbies, and retrofit screens.

Shaw said: “The specially-designed building sets a precedent for future healthcare developments by uniting the services in one location.

“Every aspect of treatment will happen in one place, saving time and creating a seamless and therapeutic hospital experience improving patient and clinical pathways.”

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Gilling Dod Architects (more information, website)

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