A refurbishment and redevelopment project at Sidmouth Hospital is well under way and is now midway through its third phase.
The hospital, which is run by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, has undergone extensive renovation to a significant part of its ground floor entrance, MIU and therapy areas during a 52-week contract which is due to complete in June 2014.
The £1.2million project has been undertaken over three phases. Phase one involved the conversion of the mortuary and chapel into a regeneration kitchen. The second phase involved extensive alteration works to the structure in order to provide a new entrance and reception area. This involved major structural alterations, creating new openings, the demolition of several walls as well as the installation of structural steels.
The second phase also saw the on-site team create two minor injury treatment rooms, a waiting area and disabled toilet, as well as refurbishing the X-ray waiting area and adjoining corridors. In January 2014 works progressed to phase three and saw the team demolish the existing physiotherapy building and convert an existing courtyard area within the main hospital building into three physiotherapy rooms and an activity area. The team has also carried out alterations and refurbishment works to eight rooms in the building to create occupational therapy offices, MSK offices, a kitchen and a treatment room.
The third phase, in addition to the demolition of the physiotherapy building in the grounds, includes a variety of external works including the installation of a new generator, new fuel tanks and a new and improved parking area and waste management containment.
All phases have also included extensive M&E works to update and renew existing systems in addition to the necessary adaptations made to match the altered layouts.
The project management team from Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s facilities department has managed a team of consultants and contractors led by Haldons Construction Consultants along with M&E consultants Houghton Greenlees and Associates Ltd. Local firm Skinner Construction acted as the main contractor for the 52-week contract, following a traditional tendering process administered by Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust. Premier Construction caught up with Andrew Sturgess, director of Skinner Construction, to find out more about the project.
He said: “We faced a fair few challenges construction-wise. Working with an old building was difficult as the floor levels are all different and the actual fabric of the structure is challenging to work with. The logistics of the site have also been difficult as it is close to the town centre and therefore getting the deliveries in and out of the hospital has been hard.
“Working in a live hospital has also posed a challenge. Works we are undertaking currently are right next to the operating theatres and the reception area. We have carried out weekly liaison meetings with the clients in order to schedule the works programme and make necessary alterations as required.”
Works began in June 2013 and the first phase lasted just six weeks. Phase two then started a subsequent six weeks after the regeneration kitchen was completed. Works are now on track for phase three to be completed by June this year.
Andrew added that it was great to be involved in a project on Skinner’s doorstep, as the firm is based in Sidmouth.
He said: “We are happy to provide the service to the hospital and working alongside them has been a great experience and hopefully a success for all parties. We have been working well with Haldons and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust as well and are now moving on to work on other hospitals with The Trust.”
The project represents the fifth and final phase of a 25-year programme to upgrade the hospital, costing £4million to £4.5million in total. The vast majority of the money has come from the Comforts Fund, the hospital’s League of Friends, with massive support from the local community.