McAvoy delivers one of the UK’s first purpose-designed ambulatory care units

Ambulatory care unit opens at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital, marking a new approach for offsite construction

A new approach to offsite construction has been used to create the UK's first purpose-designed ambulatory care unit at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

The McAvoy Group has completed the offsite construction of a new £15m wing at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.

The first floor has been fitted out to create one of the UK’s first purpose-designed ambulatory care units, which is now helping to decongest the emergency department.

Designed by P+HS Architects, the 6,500sq m, three-storey building was manufactured offsite by McAvoy using the latest modular technology to minimise disruption to patient care and to reduce the build programme by half to less than 12 months.

The building envelope was in place just 10 months after the first meeting with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

And the ground and second floors of the building will be fitted out in the next phase of the development.

McAvoy developed a hybrid solution for the project which incorporated both offsite and in-situ building methods.

What we have achieved collectively – in terms of complexity and timescale – is unprecedented in the healthcare sector

This was a highly-complex scheme on a live hospital site which has pushed the boundaries of offsite construction.

The new wing had to integrate seamlessly with the design of the existing hospital to meet the key requirement for efficient patient flows.

This was achieved with a specially-engineered structural flooring solution between the existing hospital and the new wing, removing the need for ramps and steps.

Mechanical ventilation, heating and cooling systems were installed in the ceiling voids in the McAvoy factory in what is believed to be an industry first for the offsite healthcare sector.

The building envelope was completed on site in just 10 months, with fit-out now underway

Commenting on the new wing, Robert Sanderson, deputy director of capital projects at the trust, said: “Everyone worked on this project in a completely-collaborative and focused way to define and build the new wing in a highly-ambitious timeframe.

“What we have achieved collectively – in terms of complexity and timescale – is unprecedented in the healthcare sector and we hope the partnership will continue on other projects.”

He added: “The new wing looks exactly the same as the existing building, internally and externally and there has been absolutely no compromise on the quality of finish and the standard of the clinical facilities.

“The clinical teams had full involvement from the inception of the project, so the layout, clinical adjacencies, and patient flows work really well.”

“We are impressed with the quality offsite can achieve and you would never know this was a modular building.

This project demonstrates very well how offsite construction can deliver a highly-complex acute hospital building to a very-short programme, to the most-stringent quality standards, and generating exceptional value for money for the trust

“No departments in the hospital were adversely affected by the construction process and the finished building is performing well. We are all very proud of the new facility and this application of offsite construction has certainly exceeded our expectations.”

Dr Eliot Sykes, clinical director for emergency surgery and elective care, added: “The new ambulatory care unit has already made a very-real difference to our patients.

“It significantly enhances our ability to manage peaks in demand while still providing dedicated ambulatory care.

“Offsite construction, and the McAvoy approach, has been brilliant in terms of build quality and the pace of construction, and we were amazed at the rapid progress from our first meeting to commissioning, and for a building of this scale.”

And Raymond Millar, pre-construction director at The McAvoy Group, said: “This project demonstrates very well how offsite construction can deliver a highly-complex acute hospital building to a very-short programme, to the most-stringent quality standards, and generating exceptional value for money for the trust.”

The unit provides medical, surgical and gynaecology care as well as housing a one-stop fracture clinic

The use of offsite construction, BIM and 3D design methodologies all contributed to the success of the project and its delivery within the ambitious programme.

The ambulatory care unit provides medical, surgical and gynaecology care in a relaxed and comfortable environment.

It also accommodates a fracture clinic, enabling up to 120 patients to be treated the same day across four specialisms without the need for hospital admission.

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