The second phase of a state of the art surgical hub at Clatterbridge Hospital on the Wirral has been completed by modern methods of construction specialist MTX, which has now created four new operating theatres able to treat up to 6000 patients each year.
Since the first phase of the Cheshire & Merseyside Surgical Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital opened at the end of 2022 with two new surgical theatres the hospital has treated an extra 3,000 patients who needed elective surgery.
In September 2022 new funding was announced which included building two further theatres as part of phase two of the project. MTX therefore began work on the extension before the first phase was handed over - working on the two projects simultaneously.
Phase 2 of the surgical hub was carefully designed as a 2-storey extension to the first phase of the development to ‘wrap round’ and integrate with the first phase to make the two units a coherent single building.
This £25 million innovative development, enabled through national NHS funding, employed Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) which saw the theatres created using modular structural units designed to be manufactured offsite in a factory environment, and assembled to create the new facilities alongside the current theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital. This reduced time for completion and ensured that the centre was up and running as soon as possible.
Brandon Forsyth who has been leading the MTX site team Clatterbridge explained: “We have worked hard to deliver this scheme in a shorter timescale than the previous Phase 1 scheme even though it was a bigger building overall and more complex to build on site.”
Phase 1 of the surgical hub contained two new operating theatres 12 patient recovery bays and a plant equipment room containing air handling units and electrical supply panels.
The ground floor of Phase 2 includes the two additional theatres with ultra clean ventilation systems so vital to orthopaedic surgery, utility rooms, preparation rooms and anaesthetic rooms, alongside six additional patient recovery areas, storage space and office space. On the first floor of Phase 2 are a staff changing/training facility and a plantroom to serve the new facilities with power, ventilation and other electrical and mechanical services.
Brandon Forsyth added: ”Phase 2 had several connections into the Phase 1 live building. Those connections had to be enabled and kept clinically sealed during works which meant careful management and planning working closely with the Trust clinical team to avoid impacting on the vital operations being carried out every day just a few metres away.”
The pre-manufactured steel-framed building sections were craned onto the site alongside existing theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital and assembled by the skilled team from MTX, installing exterior cladding, interior finishes and floor screeds.
They then fitted out the theatre complex including equipping the operating theatres, and installed all mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements, commissioning plant equipment areas containing air handling units and electrical supply panels.
The site sub-structure was prepared while the building sections were being manufactured offsite to precise specifications under factory conditions for greater efficiency, substantially reducing the overall programme and build duration.
The use of MMC principles by MTX can reduce build times by more than 50%, cut waste by up to 60%, and enable faster, more cost effective and low carbon delivery of high quality buildings that are fully compliant with latest healthcare standards.
MTX Managing Director David Hartley said: “We have worked closely with Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to create this exciting new facility. Expertise in MMC enables us to quickly and cost effectively deliver high quality new hospital facilities specifically engineered for medical use.”