In order to prepare for the predicted rapid rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in the capital, the Bart’s Health NHS Trust made the decision to fit out a brand new 176-bed Critical Care Unit in an area spanning the 14th and 15th floors of the hospital which had been left at shell and core at the time of the PFI scheme handover in 2012.
SSG was one of a number of specialist sub-contractors brought on board to fit out the new Critical Care Unit from scratch in just five weeks in order to have the new facility ready to accept patients from 1st May 2020. SSG was appointed by one of the project’s M&E contractors, ABCA Systems Ltd, to install the unit’s nurse call system and bedhead services trunking, and to provide a fire alarm interface between the unit’s new fire alarm system and the existing SSG site-wide fire alarm network.
The main challenge on this project was to design and manufacture all of the nurse call and bedhead services trunking equipment in an extremely short space of time to enable onsite mobilisation in a working hospital.
An order was received at the end of March and SSG was advised that all systems had to be operational by the 1st May. Within a week or so of getting the drawings approved by ABCA Systems Ltd and the Trust, the first fix equipment was on site.
A project of this type would typically take around eight or nine months to complete, but the SSG team completed the works in just 18 days, working from 7am-7pm every day, including weekends, to build, install and test the nurse call system and bedhead services trunking on site. Some of the company’s engineers worked away from home for the duration of the works.
Chris Meilak, Project Manager on the Royal London COVID-19 project, comments: “This extremely rapid deployment was only made possible due to the excellent co-operation and communication between all members of the SSG project team. Everyone from our factory and manufacturing teams through to our stores, CAD engineers, technical services department and our onsite installation team worked brilliantly together in order to get this challenging project delivered on time. Our collaborative approach to working with ABCA Systems Ltd, one of the main contractors on the project, worked really well and the project also benefitted from our knowledge and experience of previous similar schemes. We managed to have the systems installed, tested and commissioned ready for handover on 27th April, four days ahead of schedule.”
To add to the challenge of meeting the tight project deadline, the design for the unit was constantly evolving which meant we had to adjust our designs for the nurse call system and bedhead trunking while on site.
Furthermore, works had to be aligned and operate in conjunction with all the other suppliers and contractors working under pressure on the project, which proved challenging at times.