Client: University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBFT)
Refurbishment of acute health wards during the pandemic.
As part of the serviced accommodation solution provided to our client the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, it includes for general wear and tear provisions in addition to planned preventative maintenance of the buildings critical systems.
Originally installed during 2013, the ward environments were in need of refurbishing the patient bedded areas. Each ward includes bays of 4 or 5 beds in addition to singled bedrooms. As part of the condition survey assessment, the extent of refurbishment works included the:
- Air-conditioning & ventilation systems,
- En-suites converted to a wet-room facility (including new ceiling grid),
- Strengthening of floor substrate,
- New vinyl floor coverings throughout,
- Internal decoration,
- Overhaul of windows,
- Overhaul of ceiling & lighting,
- Overhaul of medical gas services, and
- Overhaul of nurse call systems.
CPL worked closely with the Trust’s Estates Department, Infection Prevention and Control Team and clinical leads to develop a robust and effective programme of works which incorporated a systematic approach to refurbishing the ward on a bay by bay basis. The programme allowed for the handover and clinical cleaning of the bays / rooms. The approach is to be adopted over a number of years until all ward areas are refurbished.
As a result of the pandemic, the Trust continued to experience extreme bed pressures throughout the refurbishment period. It was therefore essential that the refurbishment programme progressed smoothly with little disruption to the Trust’s clinical ward operations.
Working in conjunction with the modular building provider, CPL developed a programme of works which delivered the internal refurbishment to the appropriate standards and met the Trust’s strict standards for safe systems of working. This involved the forming of external apertures for access to the bays through the removal of a window. Internal ward access was kept to an absolute minimal at all times.
Outcomes / Achievements:
The following achievements were realised in delivering this project:
- Improving the clinical environment for patients and ward staff,
- Delivering a fit for purpose environment to meet the Trust’s future clinical needs,
- Development of a closer working relationship with the Trust and being considered as part of the wider NHS Team,
- Development of a robust and effective ‘start to end’ project methodology and demonstrating a ‘can do’ attitude, and
- Maximising the commercial contractual agreement obligations placed upon the modular building provider.
A number of lessons learned evolved from the delivery of the project; not least the need to adopt different working practices during a pandemic.
Additionally, the following lessons were also learned:
- Regular site and project progress meetings contributed to the success of the project and built trust between the parties,
- Developing and agreeing with the Trust’s Estates Department the process for isolation of services in accordance with the permit to work requirements
- Managing expectations on the art of the possible in refurbishing modular buildings, and
- Developing an understanding of the staff and patients needs and working closely with the Trust’s Estates Department to address works which fell outside of the agreed programme of works.
Challenges were experienced by all parties throughout the project. The primary challenges were:
- The Trust were challenged to make available an agreed number of beds so that the refurbishment works could take place. This was particularly challenging during the heights of the pandemic,
- The modular building provider had to adapt to specific safe systems of working and understand the standard and quality of works required to be delivered within the agreed timeframe; and
- The need to quickly adapt the programme of works during the initial couple of bays to improve performance and delivery of the project.
- Through a collaborative approach with strong project and programme management leadership and direction, CPL has successfully delivered the initial phase of the project on time.
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