The Challenge:

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the NHS required temporary hospital settings, known as NHS Nightingale Hospitals, to be set up across England. The purpose of these temporary hospitals was to provide increased capacity for the NHS, should it be required.

In the south west, the venue for the surge hospital was the conference centre at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol). In just 20 days, the space needed to be completely transformed and handed over to the NHS.

The Solution:

Procured through the P22 Framework, Kier was the sole contractor appointed for this NHS Nightingale hospital. Over a weekend, the project was mobilised with colleagues from across Western & Wales assisting.

Working collaboratively with NHS England and NHS Improvement, including its medical and estates team, the MOD, UWE Bristol, BDP, Faithful+Gould and others, Kier and its local supply chain helped to construct the temporary hospital that could support up to 300 patients. There were over 280 people on site at the height of construction, with many working 12 hour shifts in order to keep to programme.

Over 10,400m2 of flooring was laid– that’s the equivalent size of nearly 40 tennis courts, 25 miles of data cables were installed– which is over the length of the whole Jubilee London underground line and 5,656 double plug sockets were fitted. The teams set up 300 intensive care beds, which included oxygen facilities.

Throughout the duration of the project, works were carried out swiftly yet safely, in line with Public Health England’s guidance and in compliance with the Construction Leadership’s Site Operating Procedures.

In just 20 days, the project was complete and handed to the NHS and was officially opened via a video link by the Earl of Wessex and Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care.

The Impact:

The pace at which this hospital setting was created meant it was ready as an ‘insurance policy’ to care for critically ill patients with COVID-19 in the south west.

" It is a phenomenal achievement to have designed, built and prepared a hospital for use in such a short timescale and this has been a real team effort. Together with doctors, nurses, paramedics, the military and many many others, the work of Kier’s construction engineers means that we are ready to care for patients with compassion, should the need arise. I am extremely proud to have worked with the whole team in the delivery of this project. "
Brian Johnson Director of Estates NHS Nightingale Hospital Bristol

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