Winter beds at Queen Elizabeth Hospital
In July 2021, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust instructed the PFI SPV project company Meridian Hospital Company (MHC) to re-purpose and convert three areas at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in order to temporarily increase the winter bed capacity by 36 beds in three areas (Nuclear Medicine; Ambulatory Care; and Outpatients Area B). These areas would then revert back to their former usage in March 2022. MHC were asked to have the conversions ready by November 2021. As per the arrangement, MHC asked Vercity Consultancy to undertake the project management of the works, with Adrian Ashe as the Project Manager.
A pre-start conference call was set up to clearly understand the scope and requirements of the client. This involved the Trust’s Estates Team, the relevant Clinical Teams (with the Deputy General Manager Emergency Medicine taking the lead role), VINCI FM’s Building Solutions Team and VINCI’s subcontractors Floyd Slaski (Architects) and DSSR (MEP).
Immediately after that, Adrian established a daily morning call to build and maintain momentum, tackling queries and getting design decisions made quickly with the Trust. Working with the Clinical Team, the designers identified that the new Ambulatory Care unit would be finished first as per the Programme issued after the design layouts were agreed and fixed. A dedicated site manager was then appointed by VINCI, and construction begun in mid-August.
Project Management Actions
Adrian decided to maintain the daily project team calls throughout – also attended by the Head of Capital Planning & Development – in order to dramatically reduce the decision-making cycle time and keep the project on track for delivery. This was particularly important as the Trust has 16 active projects at different stages of completion, and on the calls, projects were discussed according to priority – the beds project being top of the list. COVID-19 guidelines and instructions were followed throughout.
The new Ambulatory Care area was completed on time and handed over to the Trust in mid-September. However, because of procurement issues resulting from equipment delivery delays due to COVID-19, it was agreed to deliver half of the new Ward 24 (the ex-Ambulatory Ward) on November 1st, and the other half a week later on November 8th, with the last of the 3 areas (Area B, the Outpatients area), being delivered a week after that on November 15th.
On November 1st, the hand-over of the 1st half of Ward 24 was successfully carried out.
Members of the Trust’s Estates and Clinical Teams physically inspected the area with the Project Team (who had pre-prepared the mandatory hand-over documentation). After the walkthrough, the Trust stated that they were happy with the works, and accepted the area into operational use. Adrian and the project team are on track to deliver the remaining two areas on time.
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