News round-up: Construction and design


Sleep pods provide place of rest for staff

News round-up: Construction and design

A RANGE of ‘sleep pods’ has been launched to provide power-nap facilities for hospital medics. Manufactured by Podtime, which already has products aimed at business workers in the city, the new systems are now being tailored for hospitals and other healthcare environments where doctors have to stay on the premises. The pods incorporate foam or sprung mattresses, digital radios, magazine racks, mirrors, an interior light, lockable doors and ventilation at either end. They are designed for modular construction, so can be stacked up to two levels depending on the site layout.

News round-up: Construction and design

Podtime founder, Jon Gray, said: “We have launched an initiative to install our pods in UK hospitals so that staff working demanding shift patterns will have the opportunity to relax and recharge when they can. We want to provide staff with a dedicated and secluded space to get their head down when they get the chance. Even a 15-minute nap can help to improve alertness and longevity within the incredibly important service.”

Green light for Surrey health centre

WORK can finally begin on a long-awaited new health centre in Cranleigh, Surrey, after plans were approved by NHS Surrey and funding agreed by the strategic health authority. The new £5.5m facility will include 19 consulting rooms, three treatment rooms and one minor surgery room. It will also be home to the village district nurses and health visitors. Dr Ruth Turner, a GP at Cranleigh Medical Practice, said: “This has been 12 years coming and we are chuffed to bits. The practice is very excited about the project, which will enable us to provide our patients with the high-quality primary care they deserve. We are very grateful for the support of NHS Surrey in giving our project priority in the current financial climate and this reflects the urgent need of our community for this long-awaited new facility.”

Roofing system used for St Bart's dig

News round-up: Construction and design

THE UBIX temporary roofing system from Combisafe International has been used to protect a 300sq m archaeological dig site at St Barts, England's oldest hospital. As part of the £1billion redevelopment of St Bartholomew's and The Royal London hospitals, the sites are being redeveloped into state-of-the-art facilities as part of a PFI led by a consortium led by Skanska. With a targeted completion of 2016, and facing a potential 12-week excavation on part of the site, Skanska commissioned Combisafe to provide a system that will allow archaeologists to work unaffected by the weather, and in turn enable Skanska to continue with vital construction works as soon as possible. And a team of diggers from the Museum on London Archaeologists has already uncovered evidence of two Roman ditches dating to AD 200. “The sliding roof over the trench has already proved its worth on several occasions,” said Robin Wroe-Brown, senior archaeologist. “Without it, during rain the ditch fills would become saturated very quickly to make the ground slippery and almost unworkable.” Despite it being their first experience of the system, the Skanska team completed the roof installation in 16 working hours.

Firm chosen to lead Derby scheme

DERBY Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has selected Morrison Construction to develop the first phase of a new mixed-use scheme planned for the old Derbyshire Royal Infirmary site. Selling the site will release much-needed capital for investment in local healthcare services, including a state-of-the art school of nursing to be built next to the Royal Derby Hospital. The site was declared surplus to requirements following the relocation of major acute services to the new Royal Derby Hospital in 2009.

Assura chosen for Welsh GP centre project

ASSURA will this week start work on a new GP surgery in Caerphilly, Wales. Delivered in conjunction with LSP Developments, the property management company will build the 9,321sq ft facility, which will be split across two floors, replacing the existing Gelligaer Surgery and enabling the practice to become a GP training centre as well as expanding services for the local community. Having acquired the site from the Aneurin Bevan Health Board, Assura aims to complete the project by May 2012. Development manager, Tom Cooke, said: “We are delighted to be working with LSP, the GPs and the health board to deliver this much-needed healthcare facility. Plans for the new surgery have been in the making for some time now and so starting on site, opposite the existing surgery, is an important milestone.” Dr John Holland, lead GP at Gelligaer and Gilfach Surgery, added: “The surgery team is delighted with this long-awaited and crucial building project, which will benefit local patient services and the community at large. It is hoped this beacon development will support the expansion of top-quality healthcare in the area for decades to come.” The architect for the scheme is West Hart Partnership, while the contractor is OpCo.

Work starts on public/private hospital

THE first stage of a new £50m hospital to serve both private and NHS patients in Reading, Berkshire, has been completed. Circle Hospitals held a topping-out ceremony last month to unveil the frame of the new luxury hospital that will include five operating theatres, 30 inpatient beds and 20 day patient beds. It is expected to be open by August next year and create 200 new jobs. Ali Parsa, Circle chief executive, said: “The Circle Reading project is gaining momentum month by month. Our mission is to push the boundaries of patient experience and clinical quality by giving local consultants, clinicians and healthcare professionals ownership and control of their hospital so they can do as they judge best for the patients they know best. We look forward to opening our doors to serve Reading patients next year.”

£2m eye clinic to be built at Chesterfield

Sign up for your free email newsletter

CHESTERFIELD Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has approved a £2m project to develop a new ophthalmology centre in the site's former Chatsworth Suite. The Chesterfield Eye Centre will bring all eye specialties under one roof, providing one-stop clinics, increased capacity and improved privacy and dignity. It will have its own entrance and reception, separate children's areas, and Sight Support Derbyshire will have a base there. Eric Morton, the trust's chief executive, said: “This is an exciting project and one which will have a huge impact on the quality of service we offer. The Chesterfield Eye Centre will make an enormous difference to the way we care and treat for patients with eye conditions. And to have everything in one specialist centre will be the icing on the cake.”