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Royal Oldham Patients to Benefit from Critical Care Expansion

The Northern Care Alliance has engaged Procure Partnerships to appoint Manchester based contractor City Build as the main contractor for an extended Critical Care Unit expansion project at the Royal Oldham Hospital.

The Northern Care Alliance (NCA) was formed by bringing together Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, and operates across 5 hospitals in the region. The NCA was developed to align strategic priorities across the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and has been tasked to develop new ways of working that will ensure patients receive consistently high standards of care. In order to deliver these objectives, the NCA required the remodelling of the existing High Dependency Unit in the Royal Oldham Hospital to create a new, state of the art Critical Care Unit and an additional 4 treatment bays.

City Build has extensive experience delivering projects in live healthcare environments. The Critical Care Unit in any hospital is an important department which provides around the clock, intensive levels of care to the most vulnerable and high-risk patients, 365 days a year. Continuity of care is the main factor for consideration when planning refurbishment works in a live healthcare facility such as this, and City Build has worked closely with the project team to develop a programme of works which would maintain essential healthcare services.

The design, developed by Day Architectural and structural engineers Alan Johnston Partnership, incorporated a new solution for the Critical Care treatment rooms, waiting areas and storerooms. The overall design vision was to create a modern and practical solution which would optimise the available space and create a healing environment.

The construction works commenced in August 2019 and include minor demolition works to remodel the existing facilities, including the installation of new internal partitions, floors and ceiling finishes. Additional joinery, plumbing and decoration works will be completed to achieve the required high-quality finish. New mechanical and electrical installations include medical gasses, secure access control and a fire alarm system, to bring the facility in line with modern healthcare practices.

An important part of the project is the installation of a new rooftop air handling unit and support decking. To enable the installation of the decking, access to the adjoining car park which supports both the MRI and A&E departments was required. The decking was craned into position in close proximity to the operational departments and was carefully planned to be undertaken during quieter periods to reduce disruption to both patients and staff.

City Build Director, Toby Rexstraw, commented on the project: “This is an important project for the Royal Oldham Hospital and the people of Oldham. City Build has a strong track record working for Northern Care Alliance and a clear understanding of how to manage projects in a live healthcare environment. Regular coordination meetings between the City Build project management team and hospital stakeholders have been essential to agree site procedures and allow for good progress. Weekly ‘look ahead’ meetings also help to ensure work is planned in accordance with the hospital staff and around any special requirements. When working in an unpredictable environment such as this where daily changes are to be expected, good communication and a proactive approach is essential.”

Once completed, the new Critical Care Unit will support the Royal Oldham Hospital and the wider Norther Care Alliance to deliver their overall corporate objectives and deliver a consistently high level of standardised care across the region. Work is progressing well, and the project is due for completion early in 2020.