AHU and substation ‘PODs’ safely delivered to Solihull Hospital’s new theatre block

Northumberland-based Merit, a UK industrialised construction and digital manufacturing specialist, has delivered ‘a major milestone’ for the new £25 million Elective Hub (Operating Theatre Block) at Solihull Hospital, designed to significantly enhance patient care and treatment capacity.

The project has recently seen the transportation and delivery of five air-handling unit PODs and two sub-station PODs to the site from Merit’s factory in Cramlington, which have since been lifted into position. A 500-tonne crane was used to lift the 30-tonne AHU PODs and the 35-tonne sub-station PODs onto the hospital roof, a logistical feat Merit says ‘underscores the technical complexities and innovative solutions deployed in this project’. It said: “The installation marks a pivotal phase in the timeline of the project, which is due for completion later this year.”  Led by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), the scheme will include the provision of a two-storey building, encompassing six operating theatres and supporting services.

Merit says its FLEXI POD solution is central to this initiative, with 81% of the build manufactured offsite at its Cramlington facility. It added: “The approach expedites construction, and also significantly reduces the environmental impact, aligning with sustainable construction practices.”

Tony Wells, CEO at Merit, said: “With waiting lists at record highs, we are really proud to be supporting the NHS with this landmark contract, which will allow a significant number of people access to the treatment they need.”

When handed over to UHB in June, the new hub is expected to facilitate an additional 11,500 treatments annually, significantly boosting elective procedure capacity at Solihull Hospital.

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