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CONSTRUCTION


goes to show what a significant impact using MMC can have. If these savings were scaled up and multiplied by the 40 new hospital projects the Government has planned over the next decade, we would see significant benefits.


Delivering healthcare over the next decade


It’s also worth thinking about the amount of resources and technical expertise required to deliver these projects. The 40 is an ambitious figure, and the number of contractors who can build and deliver projects on this scale is limited. That means that if we are going to stand a chance of achieving these figures, on time and to budget, we need to be thinking seriously about an organised, standardised ‘kit of parts’ approach. Coronavirus is also something which will play a part in the delivery of future healthcare projects. Currently we don’t know how long the virus will have an impact on our daily lives for, but what’s certain is that this global pandemic will have a lasting legacy in how we approach new hospital builds. We’re already starting to see an impact on hospital designs for the future, with a demand for more flexible space which could accommodate a future pandemic. There is a greater onus being placed on critical care, and any new major hospital will


need to have a strategy and resources in place to become key care centres for a future outbreak.


A more robust services infrastructure


Hospitals may need to have facilities nearby which could be turned into an extension to deliver further care. A more robust and increased services infrastructure is another key consideration, as some patients with COVID-19 require specific care, which means there is a much greater demand placed on services such as medical gases and ventilation systems. On a practical note, as MMC reduces the number of people required on site, those working will be able to socially distance more easily, making it a much safer working environment, something which was a huge benefit on the Nightingale projects.


It’s clear that MMC will continue to play a significant part in the future of the healthcare sector, and with the Government committed to adopting it for the future hospitals programme, as an industry we need to think seriously about adopting a forward-looking ‘kit of parts’ approach. At NG Bailey we will continue to pioneer modern methods of construction, using our technical expertise to help meet the demand for high-quality healthcare facilities.


Patrick Morrison


Patrick Morrison has been with NG Bailey for over 30 years, working his way from an apprentice electrician to his current position managing the healthcare sector for the entire engineering division of NG Bailey. He previously led an operations team that focused on delivering healthcare, and now oversees the pre-construction phase and framework bids on all healthcare schemes nationally.


hej


February 2021 Health Estate Journal 63


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