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Crawley and Horsham Hospitals – Sussex

Client: Morgan Sindall
Time scale: 7 months
Contract value: £300,000.00
Scope of project: Refurbishment of the musculoskeletal department in both Crawley and Horsham hospitals.

The contract

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We were awarded the contract by Morgan Sindall for the refurbishment of the musculoskeletal department in both Crawley and Horsham hospitals in November 2014.

It was a very tight programme with timed phases starting in Horsham first, with the most intensive phase then starting in Crawley, which then continued with both sites running at the same time.

We used a combination of our own direct labour force and subcontractors to complete the works in both hospitals.

The works included: strip out, structural alterations, drainage works, partitioning, plastering, MF ceilings and decorations. In addition, carpentry works included hanging new doors, fitting specialist hygienic coved skirting and installation of IPS panels (pre-plumbed panels with sinks attached).

Works to Horsham hospital included stripping out a large room, originally a physiotherapy room, with a large quantity of high-level tubing (which was originally used for assisting patients to move around the room with hoists). We then had to divide up the area into consultation rooms by forming partition walls with the appropriate fire and sound insulation (for privacy reasons). Some of these walls were five metres high, which required a custom specification. Even the doors had to have special acoustic adaptions to assist in the ultimate privacy for patients.

We also had to form access into a roof void above this area by enlarging a single doorway into a double doorway through a thick concrete block wall by diamond drilling a series of holes and then nibbling away the remainder.

By the time work started at Crawley hospital we already gained much useful knowledge from working on the site at Horsham hospital, which meant we were even more prepared and equipped to deal with the work expected.

At Crawley hospital we had to remove an existing hydrotherapy pool before commencing with the forming of new partition walls. This consisted of a large stainless-steel lining which had to be cut out as well as an element of concrete cutting and removal.

Once removed we had to infill the void in the slab with polystyrene formwork, dowel bars into existing slab edges and concrete up to the existing floor level.

As works progressed throughout Crawley hospital, we were asked to carry out additional strip-out work and building works in the green and red wing areas. We were also tasked with removing the old canopy to the accident and emergency entrance, and in the forming of the new curtain walling and two new revolving doors in the same area. This had an element of strip out, screeding and external works involved.

In addition, we were also asked to assist in forming the new ambulance bay at the rear of the A&E department. This involved the installation of kerbs to tie in with the new external door thresholds we had formed and then matching in the tarmac levels with existing levels, finishing off with road painting.

Finally, we were asked to carry out works to the 6th floor. This was mainly carpentry works including changing door closers and fitting specialist hygienic skirting installation.

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The challenges

The contract started late due to internal politics within the hospital, but still had to be finished by the original completion date so we had a very frantic start.

Running two sites at the same time with labour being allocated between them both, with staged completion dates.

Both sites had their own set of managers, each of whom wanted everything done yesterday.

Specialist material requirements, sometimes with long delivery times.

The removal of waste at Crawley hospital had to be done at night using wheelie bins and the single lift available.

Restricted working times at Crawley hospital due to noise restraints underneath the recovery room for the audiology ward. On occasion we would turn up at 10pm to work, to be told that an operation had over-run and they had one patient still in recovery, so work was ceased.

The fixing method for the insulation to the existing walls of the hydrotherapy pool room was very noisy so had to done out-of-hours.

There were restricted noise works at Horsham when demolition work was carried out.

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