The work on Tyne, a new build that replaces an existing ward at Northgate Hospital in Morpeth, is nearing completion.
Ian Tyrens from Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust spoke to Premier Construction about the project.
He said: “The project involves the delivery of a 24-bedroom low secure forensic facility which provides longer term continuing care, treatment and rehabilitation for our male service users.
The main contractor is Laing O’Rourke and the architect is Maap Architects. Enabling works began on the project on 28th November 2011, the main construction began on 9th January 2012 and the project is due to be completed by the 1st February 2013.
The value of the project is approximately £8 million, with the funding coming from the NHS Trust’s capital programme.
Ian said: “Northgate is a fully operational hospital but the area where Tyne is being built was unused land, the location was carefully considered to align with the Trusts strategic plan for the development of the site.
“The gross internal floor area is around 1400 sq m. It is predominantly a single storey building but it does have a first floor service walkway above the bedroom areas – that’s really designed to allow for as much off-ward maintenance as possible, this is important as it helps keep disruption to a minimum in the patients private settings.
“The structure of the building is timber frame which allowed for accelerated construction, the timber being FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified. The exterior of the development is predominantly a brickwork facade with elements of render in certain areas, the windows are aluminium- a combination of fixed and horizontal sliders – and the roof is a mixture of Kalzip and flat roof construction. There is also timber cladding along the front face of the building which is an architectural feature designed to fit in with the surroundings at our Northgate site.
There are various facilities within the ward including 24 individual bedrooms all with en-suites, social and group areas, access to external space all of which is complimented by an array of staff facilities.
“There are two internal courtyards, one in each block, and then there is a secure central garden where the buildings come together. The internal courtyards are not heavily landscaped as they are quite hard to get to in terms of necessary maintenance, it is more an area for contemplation and incorporating a tiny bit of horticulture if that is what the ward would like to do with the patients. The central garden feeds off from the main group room – the idea is that one or two wards could come together in this area and utilise the external space. This garden is easier to maintain because it is more accessible and as such contains a greater element of landscaping.
“There are patient, staff and visiting areas, laundry, treatment rooms and clinics – everything you’d expect to see in this type of facility. The content and finish of all rooms in Tyne have been designed with a great amount of clinical input involving both staff and patients. A vast amount of time has been invested in lessons learnt and incorporating best practice so all rooms function as operationally required.”
The project is currently around 80% complete, with the installation of flooring and fixed furniture now the main focus on site.
Ian is proud of the project and eager to see the ward be used to provide a first-class building for the Trust’s service users. He said:
“It’s massively important and quite personal to me – it’s the largest scheme I’ve project managed in my time with the Trust and I’ve worked extremely hard on it from day one to create a team ethos that the project requires and deserves.”
“The project has been about listening to clinical needs and understanding how to work in terms of Trust departmental requirements. The project has also highlighted how important the time spent at the start of a scheme is, getting it right on paper before work commences on site.
“This is a very specialist, first-class building which will provide a therapeutic and pleasant environment for our service users. From those at Project Team level to the operatives on site, including a massive Trust input everyone has strived for a common goal, we’ve seen a great collaborative approach and an extreme amount of hard work.”
KJB Flooring has been in business for the last seven years, providing hospitals, care homes and domestic households throughout the North East with floor coverings.
Having previously worked on St Nicholas’s Hospital, South Tyneside Hospital and Weymouth Hospital the company were selected to work alongside Laing O’Rourke on in Villa 19 of Northgate Hospital.
KJB has fitted marmoleum flooring to the corridors and bedrooms, whilst fitting vinyl in the en suite toilets.
When asked what the company prides itself on, KJB Director Kevin Balmain, said: “We are very proud of the quality of our workmanship and out reliability to clients.”