Premier Modular delivers £1.7m ward building after just six weeks

New facility helps North Middlesex Hospital expand elective care capacity

The Captain Sir Tom Moore Centenary Ward at North Middlesex Hospital is helping to restart elective care services. Image, Premier Modular

Premier Modular has delivered a new, purpose-designed £1.7m ward building at North Middlesex University Hospital, reducing the programme to just six weeks on site to help the trust rapidly expand ward capacity to restart elective care services.

There was an urgent requirement for new inpatient beds following a surge in demand for hospital services during the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with the peak winter period.

And, as part of the hospital’s centenary celebrations, and as a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, the trust has named the new ward after the Army veteran, whose fundraising efforts raised millions for the NHS.

Procured through NHS Shared Business Services, Premier was appointed to design, manufacture, and install a bespoke ward building to be in use for around 18 months.

Importantly, the building had to be designed in compliance with rapidly-evolving guidance for infection control in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The revised design requirements included maintaining a space of 2m around each patient bed, increasing access to handwashing, and managing control routes around the building to facilitate social distancing and to accommodate increased use of PPE.

The hiring of modular accommodation is a fast and flexible way for healthcare providers to expand capacity or relocate services, particularly on constrained hospital sites

This was a complex scheme that had to be delivered during a lockdown, and just 16 weeks from order to handover.

Working seven days a week, Premier was able to reduce time on site from around 10 weeks to just six weeks, to bring the building into use as fast as possible for critical patient service provision.

The modular solution has 20 beds across seven wards

Commenting on the project, Chris Kelly, estates development manager at North Middlesex University Hospital, said: “The Premier team understood the vital importance and urgency of this project from the outset and as a result worked harder and faster to make it happen.

“There was incredible pressure to deliver this building to such a short programme and Premier grasped our mindset as healthcare providers and the real-world impact this building would have on our patients waiting for treatment.

“Design choices had to be made in the context of budget, programme, and the incredibly-fast changing healthcare environment.

“And this demanded an exceptional understanding of the issues and the technicalities of compliance to rapidly-developing COVID guidelines for infection control.”

The Captain Sir Tom Moore Centenary Ward accommodates 20 beds for patients recovering from surgery and has been configured as six three-bed wards and one two-bed ward.

The self-contained facility has been fitted out with medical gases, electrics, IT infrastructure, CCTV, fire alarms, nurse call systems, door access controls, heating, hot water supplies, and advanced air handling and extraction.

Three nurse stations are located in the central corridor and the building is linked to the main hospital to maintain efficient patient flows.

Buildings to accommodate wards and ancillary services can be delivered in a fraction of the time of a site-based construction solution and, critically, purpose-designed facilities can be installed on hospital sites with far less disruption to patient care

Other facilities include assisted bathrooms for each ward, a pantry for the preparation and serving of up to four meals per patient per day, dirty and clean utilities, a staff restroom and changing facilities, reception, and a cleaner’s room.

A Premier hire solution was chosen by the trust for the project, to fund the building out of revenue streams for maximum cost efficiency. And it was delivered on time and on budget.

A Premier spokesman said: “The hiring of modular accommodation is a fast and flexible way for healthcare providers to expand capacity or relocate services, particularly on constrained hospital sites.

“The approach also gives NHS trusts greater flexibility as the facilities can be dismantled and removed if local needs change.

“Buildings to accommodate wards and ancillary services can be delivered in a fraction of the time of a site-based construction solution and, critically, purpose-designed facilities can be installed on hospital sites with far less disruption to patient care.

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