Construction works to build a new Urgent Treatment Centre at a Lincolnshire hospital — an emergency-funded project which was fast-tracked to help ease COVID-19 pressure — has now been completed by Midlands-based contractor G F Tomlinson.
The £2.4m project involved the construction of a single storey extension at Lincoln County Hospital, expanding the facility’s existing accident and emergency department, to create an urgent treatment centre, which also includes a new entrance into the accident and emergency department.
Secured through Pagabo’s National Framework for Medium Works, which covers schemes between the value of £1m-£5m in the Midlands — the project was completed over a period of 24 weeks following planning approval, with the official handover taking place at the end of April.
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust submitted plans to City of Lincoln Council last year, after receiving a £7m national funding boost from the Department of Health and Social Care, which is part of a £150m capital funding programme to expand and upgrade 25 A&Es across the UK, to reduce overcrowding and improve infection prevention control in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hospital remained operational while the Urgent Treatment Centre was being built and through further phased construction work, which includes additional spaces and facilities, it is now able to increase its capacity and services.
Further phased works across the department include; a bigger resus area with twice as many bays for the emergency patients, a new paediatrics area with its own dedicated waiting room, and treatment cubicles and a sensory area for the youngest patients and their families.
Additional treatment rooms for mental health patients, and an ambulance drop-off point and new bays were also created outside the front of the department with entrances directly into the resus and major areas. The extra clinical space will ensure that the emergency department will be able to accept patients from ambulance crews with improved speed and safety.
Given the urgent need for such a scheme, G F Tomlinson fast-tracked the project, carrying out the works seven days a week with extended hours to ensure completion was delivered on time.
Under a variation of the contract, G F Tomlinson also undertook £1m infrastructure works at the hospital, for a new Specialist Respiratory Unit. The Derby-headquartered contractor provided value engineering and design services, which were also fast-tracked to assist with minimising timings and costs.
Chris Flint, Director at G F Tomlinson, said: “This was a vital project completed under Pagabo’s National Framework for Medium Works, to provide much-needed additional space at Lincoln County Hospital, in order to cope with the influx of patients requiring treatment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ensuring that we worked as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible on site was our number one priority, given the challenges of working at an extremely busy hospital that remained fully operational whilst building works took place. We are delighted to have delivered this project within a very short space of time, to improve the services and capacity the hospital can offer patients.”
Emma Hesbrook, Regional Relationship Manager for the Midlands at Pagabo, commented: “Due to the importance of the scheme, the Trust required a quick procurement route that also offered them full compliance. By procuring through our Medium Works Framework, they were able to appoint G F Tomlinson within days of making initial contact with Pagabo, which was hugely beneficial for them.
“I’d like to say a massive well done to the whole delivery team involved who have gone above and beyond to ensure that the project was delivered on time.”
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’s Director of Finance and Digital, Paul Matthew, said: “These developments will help us to see and treat our patients more quickly and ensure that everyone is getting the level of care that they require. A massive thank you to G F Tomlinson who have completed this first phase on schedule, despite all of the challenges of a global pandemic.
“Work will now begin on the next phases to make sure the department is not only fit for today, but also for the future.”