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UK’s largest acute admissions unit arrives on site in Watford

The largest acute admissions unit (AAU) in the UK has arrived on site at Watford General Hospital. The scheme for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is also believed to be the UK’s largest modular building project in the healthcare sector.

Yorkon Watford

The project is part of a £25m ProCure21 contract awarded to Medicinq Osborne. Modules for the new AAU have been constructed off site by Yorkon in a £12m contract. 142 steel-framed modules have now been delivered to site and craned into position. The modules are substantially complete with partitions, electrics, plumbing, sanitary ware and finishes already in place – reducing the programme time by up to 50 per cent and minimising disruption to patient care.

Scheduled for completion this summer, the new facility, which will be linked to the existing A&E department, will radically change the way patients in West Hertfordshire receive emergency care. It will offer rapid assessment and consultant-led diagnosis for emergency cases to improve the patient experience and dramatically reduce the long-term effects of serious conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

Designed by Murphy Philipps Architects, the AAU will provide 120 beds for emergency admissions, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, diagnostics including x-ray, ultrasound and CT scanning, new hospital pharmacy with robotic dispensing, a library and roof-top plant room.

Graham Ramsay, Medical Director at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust said, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Medicinq Osborne and Yorkon on this exciting project. 2008 will see a major improvement in hospital care in West Hertfordshire and the development of the Acute Admissions Unit will play a crucial part in securing the very best hospital services for the 21st Century.”

He added, “We are particularly pleased that we chose the off-site approach for providing the new facilities as it is significantly reducing disruption to our patients, staff and the local community during its construction.”

Stephen Liddle, Chairman of Medicinq comments, “This project represents the level of innovation that exists within Medicinq Osborne. We were delighted to be awarded this contract and to have the opportunity to implement cutting edge construction techniques in order to deliver a world class healthcare facility.”

David Johnson, Director and General Manager of Yorkon said, “Off-site construction offers many advantages to contractors as well as to building end users. We were able to start manufacture and fitting out of the new AAU before demolition work had been carried out on site. This parallel working is saving around six months on the programme time, which allowed the hospital site to remain in use for longer and the new building will be open and treating patients much earlier, and with no compromise on quality.”

For further PRESS information, please contact:

Clare Webber (PR Medicinq Osborne)
The Holistic Group.
Tel: 07515 053376

Joanne Bridges, PRO – Yorkon
Tel: 01489 570898 Fax: 01489 570888

Editor’s Notes

1.Medicinq is a consortium formed by Osborne, Midas Projects and Simons Construction that can provide long-term sustainable benefits from innovative solutions to project requirements. These long-established and successful privately owned businesses have extensive experience of partnering in both the public and private sectors, which they seek to share and develop with the NHS through ProCure21. The organisations have a combined annual turnover in excess of £750m.

2.The advantages of off-site construction for healthcare projects include:

-programme times reduced by up to 50 per cent, allowing earlier completion with a positive impact on patient care
-reduced disruption to patients, staff and the local community during construction
-fewer vehicle movements to site
-safer, quieter and cleaner
-improved quality and reduced future maintenance
-a high level of design flexibility internally and externally
-buildings can be expanded without decanting
-improved thermal efficiency for lower running costs and reduced carbon emissions
-helping to address the shortage of skilled labour affecting the construction industry
-cost control and reduced material wastage
-guaranteed delivery on time and on budget.

3.Off-site construction involves the manufacture of steel-framed modules in a controlled factory environment, using production line technology, whilst the foundation works are completed on site. The modules are delivered to site by road where they are craned into position in just a few days ready for fitting out.


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