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Morgan Sindall plc completes phase one of £8 million project at James Paget Hospital

An interior view of medical equipment at James Paget Hospital

Morgan Sindall plc has completed the first phase of an £8 million project to expand James Paget Hospital’s operating theatre complex in Gorleston.

The project, for the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, involved the addition of a new day patient surgery complex. The project has created a state-of-the-art facility that meets the growing demand for operations in the area, ensuring the hospital can better meet the needs of the local community.

The new day patient unit, which will be open for operations from August, has been specially designed to accommodate the hospital’s day patients and the facility includes three operating suites. Trolley bays, ward areas, waiting and recovery areas, a reception area and theatre staff changing areas have also been included at the operating facility.

The Morgan Sindall project team also delivered a vertical extension onto areas of the hospital to facilitate the upgraded machinery that will service the theatres.

During phase two of the project, the team will construct additional air handling facilities to improve the provision to five of the hospital's existing theatres, with freed-up space re-allocated and re-organised to make way for the final phase which will focus on modernising the existing patient recovery area and staff changing facilities.

The project took place in a live hospital environment and the project team had to take a number of important precautions to mitigate any risks. Working closely with the customer, the team held weekly meetings with the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and key members of hospital staff in an effort to minimise the effects of the works. Through these meetings, the team agreed work periods and the segregation of the construction works ensured the hospital was able to operate as normal. These precautions will remain in place throughout the second phase of the project.

The works took place adjacent to the hospital’s children’s ward and cancer treatment centre, so infection control was an integral component of the project. Due to the location of the project, a temporary specialist air conditioning system was installed in the adjacent wards allowing the windows to be sealed shut.

The team used a tower crane at the hospital to operate above the live buildings and install steel beams and cladding. A specialist scaffold decking system was installed over the hospital substation to protect it during the project.

Gavin Napper, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “The first phase of the project at James Paget Hospital drew on the expertise of our highly-experienced team to ensure this multifaceted scheme was delivered smoothly. Phase one at James Paget Hospital was a complex project undertaken in a sensitive, live environment and the team has delivered an impressive scheme that will leave a lasting legacy for the local community.

“As with many Morgan Sindall projects, the team truly immersed themselves in the hospital community by taking part in a number of activities to engage with patients and hospital staff, such as celebrating Easter at the children’s ward by collecting and handing out chocolate eggs to the young patients. The team also created a colourful view for youngsters in the hospital decorating the hoardings visible from the ward with wooden animals designed by the children.

“In addition to the community aspect, the team successfully used its technical knowledge and skills to ensure the safety of the patients, including the challenging delivery of a vertical extension which included working over a live clinic. We are looking forward to delivering the second phase of the project over the coming year.”

Other engagement projects included the renovation of the Honeybee Garden in the hospital grounds. The team generously volunteered their time during a week-long period and installed new decking, handrails, steps and walkways as well completing external landscaping to create a relaxing environment that provides valuable assistance with the rehabilitation of patients.

The Morgan Sindall team is also on-site at a number of other projects in the area, including a £10 million contract to construct a new 228-bedroom student accommodation development in the heart of Norwich City Centre. Work on the design and build project for Alumno Developments is close to completion and will deliver a new nine-storey development, called All Saints Norwich, next to Norwich Bus Station.