Plans for £16m surgical hub unveiled

By Jo Makosinski | Published: 19-Oct-2022

Designs submitted for new standalone facility at Hereford Hospital

A new £16m Elective Surgical Hub at Hereford County Hospital has moved a step closer with designs now submitted for planning approval.

Designed by ADP Architects and project managed by Currie & Brown, the Government-backed scheme is one of over 50 new surgical hubs set to open across the country to help tackle COVID-19 backlogs and offer hundreds of thousands of patients quicker access to procedures.

The new, standalone hub will provide a completely-new service aimed up speeding elective surgeries and reducing waiting times. Types of procedure will include daycase surgeries such as ear, nose and throat (ENT), cataract, and minor operations.

Addressing the backlog

“We’re working as hard as we can to tackle the backlog of patients which has built up due to the pandemic,” said Alan Dawson, Wye Valley NHS Trust’s chief strategy and planning officer.

“The new facility, which will be built on the site vacated by the last of the two remaining hutted wards, will create a state-of-the-art unit which will help us maintain our elective surgery pathways in a completely-separate building on the County Hospital site.”

Internally, the two-storey centre will house assessment rooms, pre-op waiting rooms, two specialist operating theatres, a cataract suite for eye operations, recovery bays, and associated facilities including a reception and staff offices.

Green design

Regional building contractor, Speller Metcalfe, which delivered the MacMillan Renton Unit for the trust in 2011, has been given the green light to deliver the scheme and is currently working with the trust to support both planning and design development

“As a local contractor we know first-hand the direct impact this project will have on Herefordshire residents in reducing elective surgical waiting lists,” said Adrian Speller, technical director at Speller Metcalfe.

“Contributing to this project really means a lot to us as both a company and as part of the local community.”.

The project is set to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ sustainability standard, with design proposals put forward by Speller Metcalfe focusing on overall energy performance such as airtightness, insulation, and the use of offsite manufacture.

Replacing outdated asbestos hut wards previously built in the 1940s, the hub has also been designed with future flexibility in mind, using a steel frame to give the trust the option of expanding vertically should the need arise.

The scheme is also first project procured under the new ProCure23 national healthcare framework for the design and construction of NHS capital projects, a collaboration between NHS England and Crown Commercial Service.

Once the project has received planning approval, it is anticipated that it will move onto site in early 2023 and is set to complete in 2024.

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