Premier Modular delivers PET-CT diagnostic facility

Offsite construction methods used to create scanning facility for Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Offsite construction solutions are becoming increasingly attractive to healthcare operators

Premier Modular has delivered a new, purpose-designed modular PET-CT scanning facility for Alliance Medical at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Alliance Medical, one of Europe’s leading providers of imaging services, was awarded a national PET-CT contract by NHS England under the Wave 1 PET-CT procurement to deliver PET-CT scanning across 30 locations in England.

The new PET-CT facility was fully fitted out at Premier’s offsite factory in East Yorkshire and craned into position complete with the PET-CT scanner, doors, windows, partitions, glazed screens, and all mechanical and electrical services to reduce work on site to just four weeks.

Installation was completed on a Sunday to minimise disruption to the hospital. And, as access to the site was on a blue-light ambulance route and close to the air ambulance helipad; this required careful logistical planning and close monitoring.

The heaviest module containing the PET-CT scanner weighed 22 tonnes and required a 350-tonne crane for safe installation.

Having the building operational at an earlier stage is much less disruptive for the host NHS trust and, most importantly, gets the diagnostic services up and running for patients more quickly

Commenting on the project, Gary Walters, property workstream lead at Alliance Medical, said: “In our view, the most-important benefit of a modular solution is the reduced programme compared to site-based construction.

“If we can complete a PET-CT facility several months earlier, as with the Norwich project, we can deliver these much-needed diagnostic services to patients sooner.

“Premier helped us to achieve this and provided value for money as well as the capabilities and expertise we required.

“The staff operating the new facility are very happy with it and it is helping us to offer an enhanced patient experience and pathway for the local cancer network community in Norfolk.”

David Curzon, senior project manager at Lee Wakemans Management, which provided project management services for the scheme, added: “Modular buildings can be relocatable which makes the approach very suitable for fixed-term service contracts.

“These buildings could potentially be moved to another hospital when the contract for the site expires.

“Offsite construction also suits hospital sites very well because there is much less time on site than with traditional building methods – a big advantage.

“The foundations and drainage are put in place while the facility is manufactured offsite in the factory.

In our view, the most-important benefit of a modular solution is the reduced programme compared to site-based construction

“Having the building operational at an earlier stage is much less disruptive for the host NHS trust and, most importantly, gets the diagnostic services up and running for patients more quickly.”

The complex project involved engineering the building structure and floor system to meet the loadings of the scanner and the stringent specification for acoustic and floor response factors, while maximising work offsite at Premier’s factory.

The single-storey building accommodates a fully-lead-lined scanning room, which is designed to provide a calming patient environment with illuminated landscapes on the ceiling and images along one of the internal walls.

A side wall was specially engineered to be removed should the scanner need to be replaced or moved, making the building fully futureproof.

There is also a separate control room, and staff and patient support facilities.

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