The professional team delivering the emergency Nightingale Hospital at Harrogate Hospital has been announced. The new ‘circa-500-bed’ facility, part of the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, will see the Harrogate Convention Centre in North Yorkshire converted to accommodate level three critical care beds in the Centre’s halls for the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
With the spread of COVID-19 increasing across the UK, engineers and estates professionals in the NHS are now undertaking their vital role in a rapidly changing and increasingly demanding environment. IHEEM (the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management) says that, having received a number of calls and emails from companies and individuals asking how they can offer their services, skills, and knowledge to help the NHS, it has contacted the Estates & Facilities team at NHS England / NHS Improvement to establish how the Institute can help.
The 4 Medical IT Alliance has appointed Fulbourn Medical as the official supplier of its integrated operating room and video imaging, workflow management, and surgical display systems to hospitals in the UK and Ireland. The partnership unites the newly formed Alliance – ‘made up of an elite group of leading medical technology manufacturers with a focus on disruptive innovation’ – with ‘an established and respected provider of operating room solutions’. The 4 Medical IT Alliance and Fulbourn Medical say hospitals will now benefit from ‘a much improved workflow system, which is affordable and sustainable, to improve patient care and operational safety and drive efficiencies’.
London’s ExCeL Centre will be used as an NHS ‘field hospital’ within days, with the capacity to hold up to 4,000 patients with the coronavirus, the Department of Health & Social Care has announced.
The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group – representing the largest value sector in UK construction – has expressed ‘major concerns’ over the impact of COVID-19 on SMEs, which it says comprise 99% of firms in the construction industry. These, it explains, relate to ‘sharp practices’, disruption to repair and maintenance contracts (which represent more than half of construction industry output), and ‘the weak balance sheets of the large tier 1 contractors, with implications for payment security along the supply chain’.
Unilabs, a European diagnostic services provider, has set up a ‘drive-through’ facility in Porto in Portgual to collect samples from suspected Covid-19 patients, believed to be among the first of its kind in Europe. “The opening of this temporary drive-through facility allows us to serve the urgent needs of our community, and takes the pressure off hospitals struggling with the flood of patients requiring sample collection and analysis,” said Luis Menezes, CEO of Unilabs Portugal. “The key benefit is safety.”
Measures announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak (pictured), in the 2020 Budget on 12 March included over £6 billion in new funding to support the NHS, including to create 50 million more GP surgery appointments, to ensure that there are 50,000 more nurses, and to ‘fund wider commitments’ on hospital car parking and support for people with learning disabilities and autism.
A ‘topping out' ceremony has taken place at the new £98 m Heatherwood Hospital, which will provide NHS services to patients in Berkshire and beyond. Work on the main structure of the hospital, in Ascot, which has been designed by architects, BDP, and is being built by Kier for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, is complete less than a year after work began. The hospital will provide six operating theatres, outpatient services, and up-to-date diagnostics ‘in a superb new building set into woodland’.
Plans to build a ‘world-leading’ eye care and research centre in central London have been agreed at a special decision making meeting on 12 February.
As the pace of technological change accelerates, no nation can afford to ease up on their efforts to conduct engineering in a safe and innovative way, according to research commissioned by the Royal Academy of Engineering and Lloyd’s Register Foundation as part of Engineering X – a new international collaboration that ‘brings together some of the world’s leading problem-solvers to address the great challenges of our age’.
IHEEM (the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management) is now providing professional and technical feedback to NHS England and NHS Improvement on the re-development of national estates and facilities management standards and guidance.
In embarking upon a trio of major energy-saving projects across its main hospital sites, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been working with sustainability consultant, ETL, on an Energy Performance Contract (EPC)to procure and appoint an energy supplier and ‘negotiate the best possible deal’.
The McAvoy Group, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading offsite manufacturers, has secured ‘multi-million-pound investment’ from London-based Blantyre Capital, which it says will support its continued growth’ in the very dynamic offsite sector’, and finance the Group’s ‘ambitious expansion programme’.
Veolia, working through its specialist energy performance contracting team, is to deliver a 20-year Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that will target annual savings of over £1 million through the implementation of a wide range of carbon-saving improvements at the 500- bedded Rotherham Hospital.
A new report from the Good Governance Institute (GGI) and Legrand Assisted Living and Healthcare advocates ‘immediate action to embrace digital solutions’, building on a programme of research and engagement with senior leaders from the health, care, and housing sectors. Legrand Assisted Living said: “There is growing recognition that the public sector improvements – including in healthcare – we require cannot be delivered simply by providing services in the same way, or even by becoming more efficient. New systems approaches are needed to achieve improved health and wellbeing outcomes across the UK.”
NHS Property Services (NHSPS) has announced two new energy contracts through Inspired Energy, via which British Gas will provide ‘100 per cent renewable electricity’, and Corona natural gas, to all the organisation’s properties across England by April this year.
Sodexo, a leading global services company, has launched a braille menu for patients at Queen’s Hospital Romford. The new menu has been introduced in each ward to ensure that patients with visual impairments can read the standard menu. Karen Ford-Sneddon, Sodexo Patient Dining manager at the hospital, said: “We truly care about our patients, and so are always looking for ways to improve how we meet individual patient needs and help ensure a patient’s stay is as comfortable as possible.
BAM Construction has started work on a new £19 m healthcare centre in Clydebank. Delivered in partnership with hub West Scotland on behalf of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Clydebank Health Centre will be located within the Queens Quay development area, forming part of a new Health Quarter.
NG Bailey has completed a £3 m services project at Royal Hallamshire Hospital (RHH) to provide four new operating theatres. The project’s completion follows a series of healthcare sector successes for the firm, including project wins such as the new eye care centre at Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank, and the completion of the University Hospital of North Tees’ Energy Centre.