A new 28-bedded ‘concept ward’ combining single-bedded en-suite rooms with four-bed bays, built by Health Spaces at James Paget University Hospital, will be used both to house patients while RAAC panel remediation is undertaken, and to enable the Trust operating the hospital to evaluate the ‘pros and cons’ of single-bedded rooms versus multi-bed patient accommodation.
A new 28-bedded ‘concept ward’ combining single-bedded en-suite rooms with four-bed bays, built by Health Spaces at Great Yarmouth’s James Paget University Hospital, and officially opened on 27 May this year, will be used both to house patients while RAAC panel remediation is undertaken on parts of the hospital estate, and to enable the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to evaluate the ‘pros and cons’ of single-bedded rooms versus multi-bed patient accommodation as it plans for a new hospital on the site. HEJ editor, Jonathan Baillie, reports.
The construction of the new modular-built ward at the James Paget University Hospital began last October – with preliminary groundworks on the chosen location to the rear of the existing hospital. This included site surveys and a check for unexploded bombs, since Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area were heavily bombed during World War II. Thanks to the use of offsite Modern Methods of Construction, with the modules assembled in a controlled factory environment in East Yorkshire, and delivered to site with the building fabric 80% complete (with some first-fix M&E works also competed), the new single-storey ward block’s creation progressed extremely fast
The new facility, which has received a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating at Design Stage (with the same rating anticipated for Construction), was handed over on schedule to the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by Health Spaces – who also designed it, in conjunction with the Trust – in late May this year, with the first patients admitted on 8 June. Officially opened by NHS Chief Nursing Officer for England, Dame Ruth May, on 27 May, the ward is needed to provide decant space while some of the hospital’s existing wards undergo remedial work. In particular, the roof of a number of wards incorporates RAAC – or reinforced autoclaved aerated – planks – a form of lightweight concrete panels widely used in the mid-1960s and mid-1970s, which have suffered failures. As a result, Government guidance has set out a series of measures for organisations including operators of NHS hospitals and schools whose buildings may incorporate the panels to ensure that, where they are present, they are identified, evaluated for structural integrity, and – where necessary – failsafe supports are installed
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