COVER STORY: Key role for innovative FLEX financing at Plymouth’s New REI

The striking new Royal Eye Infirmary (REI) created offsite for Derriford Hospital in Plymouth by Modern Methods of Construction specialist, MTX, is helping to meet the increasing demand for eye surgery and treatment from across Devon and Cornwall.

However, its rapid provision was made possible only through the innovative FLEX managed services project package developed by MTX, and extraordinary collaboration between the contractor and University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.  

The off-site three-floor REI brings together outpatient and surgical eye treatments previously provided within the main hospital, and is designed to enable operations on an additional 520 patients each month, along with an extra 2,300 outpatient appointments. The facility includes three operating theatres, an increased number of treatment rooms, and an expanded area for young patients. Its off-site location on William Prance Road, with a drop-off zone and parking immediately outside the building, also improves access for patients.

One of the ground-floor operating theatres is dedicated to sub-specialisms such as oculoplastic, orbital, and corneal surgeries, to reduce waiting times of patients. The first floor was designed to accommodate consulting/examination and testing rooms, while the second has offices and plant areas for the medical IT and uninterruptible power supplies and air-handling systems

Critical success factors for the project included adapting the design of the new REI to the challenging sloping site location, dealing with a sub-basement void uncovered during site preparation, and achieving the required building specification and compliance to a tight timescale and a limited budget. 

The FLEX 5-year managed services finance solution developed by MTX was a vital element in progressing the project – by providing the flexible financial arrangements that enabled it to proceed. FLEX is ‘a true nocapital and cash-neutral solution which includes all project costs – from groundworks through to hard and soft facilities management’.

An early project start guaranteed access to Government funding for the Trust, and avoided increased costs due to the inevitable inflation had the project been delayed. Completion of the new REI by summer 2023 represented an impressive achievement that demonstrates the value of open and collaborative working.

MTX Contracts
Brooke Court, Innovation House
Lower Meadow Rd
T: 0161 694 0123
E: info@mtx.co.uk w

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