A new £16 million Elective Surgical Hub at Hereford County Hospital has moved another step closer, with the design now submitted for planning approval.
Designed by ADP Architects, and project managed by Currie & Brown, the government-backed scheme is one of over 50 new surgical hubs set to open across the country to help tackle COVID backlogs, and offer hundreds of thousands of patients quicker access to procedures.
The new standalone hub will provide a new service aimed up speeding elective surgeries and freeing up waiting times. Types of procedure undertaken will include day case surgeries such as Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT), cataracts, and minor operations.
“We’re working as hard as we can to tackle the backlog of patients which has built up due to the pandemic,” said Alan Dawson, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s Chief Strategy and Planning Officer. “The new facility, which will be built on the site vacated by the last of the two remaining hutted wards, will create a state-of-the-art facility which will help us maintain our elective surgery pathways in a completely separate building on the County Hospital site.”
Internally, the two-storey centre will house assessment rooms, pre-op waiting rooms, two specialist operating theatres, a cataract suite for eye operations, recovery bays, and associated facilities, including a reception and staff offices.
Regional building contractor, Speller Metcalfe, which delivered the MacMillan Renton Unit for the Trust in 2011, has been appointed to deliver the scheme, and is currently working with the Trust to support both planning and design development. “As a local contractor, we know first-hand the direct impact this project will have on Herefordshire residents in reducing elective surgical waiting lists,” said Adrian Speller, Technical director at Speller Metcalfe. “Contributing to this project really means a lot to us, as both a company and as part of the local community. We are also right behind the Trust’s approach to delivering on the NHS’s carbon reduction targets, and we will be supporting this as far as possible with our sustainability expertise to reach the highest standards.”
The project is set to reach BREEAM Excellent, with the design proposals put forward by Speller Metcalfe focusing on overall energy performance in areas such as airtightness, insulation, and offsite manufacture. Replacing outdated asbestos hut wards previously built in the 1940s, the new two-storey hub has been designed with future flexibility in mind, using a steel frame to give the Trust the option of expanding vertically should the need arise.
The scheme is also the first project procured under the new ProCure23 national healthcare framework for the design and construction of NHS capital projects. Once the project has received planning approval, it is anticipated that it will move onto site in early 2023, and is set to complete in 2024.