McAvoy completes building installation phase for £15 million hospital wing in Northumbria

Progress on-site

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

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

The speed of construction will help Northumbria Healthcare Trust to meet the rising demand for acute patient services in the region.

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Commenting on the progress on site, Robert Sanderson, deputy director of capital projects at Northumbria Healthcare FML, said: “This is a highly complex and ambitious scheme which is 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 of The McAvoy Group, said: “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, achieve exceptional value for money and to the required quality standards. The installation of the final modules is a major milestone for the project and a significant achievement for the project team in the middle of winter and on such an exposed site as this.”

The first floor of the new wing 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 of the development.

The ambulatory care unit will provide medical, surgical and gynaecology care in a relaxed and comfortable environment. It will also accommodate a fracture clinic. This will allow up to 150 patients to be treated the same day across four specialisms, without the need for hospital admissions. This will help to de-congest the emergency department, allowing patients to be seen by the most appropriate clinician earlier and offering an enhanced service for the local community.

The project is said to feature a number of innovations in offsite construction. It is using larger, bespoke modules up to 14.85m long which have been specially engineered to provide a structural flooring solution that seamlessly integrates with the existing hospital building. This will meet the key requirement for efficient patient flows, removing the need for ramps and steps.

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

Designed by healthcare specialists P+HS Architects working with McAvoy as principal contractor, the new wing is replicating the appearance of the existing hospital which opened in 2015. It will have a faceted external façade to create curved ends to the wing and will be finished in blue and white render. This 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 dedicated, 2000m2 facility for ambulatory care will provide services in medicine, surgery, gynaecology and orthopaedics. Facilities include waiting areas; interview, assessment, and treatment rooms; plaster room with mobile x-ray; trolley bays; patient lounges; ultrasound; single ensuite rooms; nurse’s station; staff rest room; clinical stores; utility rooms, and an open-plan office.

www.mcavoygroup.com/healthcare