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posted: 15th Nov 2012

As a result of unprecedented increases in demand for emergency care, the existing wards at Watford General Hospital were put under severe pressure and so a requirement for a ‘surge’ ward was identified to provide additional ward capacity at peak times.  A Portakabin hire solution was developed and an HTM-compliant modular ward building was delivered in just four months.

The new 18-bed ward will be in use for the next three years while other changes are undertaken to allow the Trust to cater for greater patient numbers.  A further two-storey ‘surge’ ward building is also being provided by Portakabin at the hospital for a five-year period.

These projects illustrate how Portakabin can deliver interim building solutions to help healthcare providers meet waiting list targets and response times during peak periods and while longer-term plans for expansion are progressed.

Watford Hospital

The specification for the ‘surge’ building at Watford was developed by the Trust in partnership with Portakabin and comprises two separate wards to achieve same-sex compliance and to meet all relevant HTM guidelines.  It features a central core area to accommodate facilities such as clean and dirty utilities, kitchen, reception, toilets and showers, with two spacious nine-bed wards to either side.

Commenting on the project, Kyle McClelland, Associate Director for Strategic Developments at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said, “The timescale for getting this building on site was extremely challenging. We evaluated a number of modular building suppliers and Portakabin was the only specialist able to commit to delivery within the four months we had to complete the building, and to offer the high quality buildings we required.”

“The whole process was greatly simplified because Portakabin could handle every aspect of equipping and fitting out the building, which made it possible to complete the project so quickly. Portakabin had just four months to design, build and hand over the building – and I am pleased to report, this was achieved on time.”

“The new ward has been well received by both staff and patients. The spacing of the beds is generous and the quality of the finishes meets all our requirements. The new facility has helped us manage the increased demand for our services.”

Watford Hospital

The building is located on a car park, with a link corridor to the main hospital, and its modular construction meant it required no intrusive ground works, allowing the car park to be left intact.  Portakabin managed the entire building installation and fit out, including foul drain connections, all reception furniture, special NHS-standard bed-heads, alarm systems, heavy-duty flooring, cabling for data communications, and climate control systems.

The building installation was timed to coincide with quieter periods at the hospital, and Portakabin worked closely with the Trust to ensure that any disruption was minimised.

Portakabin can deliver interim solutions for ward accommodation, recovery suites, dialysis units, diagnostic facilities, out-patient departments and treatment centres. 
All the hospital facilities are constructed to the latest healthcare standards, including HTM (Health Technical Memoranda), HBN (Health Building Notes), SHTM (Scottish Health Technical Memoranda) and HAI-SCRIBE (Healthcare Associated Infection System for Controlling Risk in the Built Environment).
For further information about modular healthcare buildings for interim and permanent applications, visit www.portanews.co.uk, email information@portakabin.co.uk or call 0845 401 0010.