University Hospital Southampton - Cancer Care Ward

LST has completed the construction of a new £7.3m cancer care unit in just six months.

The facility accommodates 27 inpatients and comprises 11 single-bed side rooms. Spanning 1,800 sq m, the two-storey extension has been built on top of an existing single-storey building, which houses another oncology department serving more than 150 people every day. The new structure has also been futureproofed to accommodate a further two floors at a later date.

A delayed start, largely driven by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulted in the exceptionally tight construction programme. The timing was critical as the hospital required patients to move from another ward into the new facility by 14 December 2020 to increase bed capacity by Christmas.

To accelerate the project, and to minimise the risk of any delays because of the pandemic, the steel frame was procured in advance of the main build. In addition, building materials were ordered well in advance and according to the work sequence to enable them to be stored at our head office ready to be delivered to site as and when they were required.  

Two staircase structures were included within the scope of the contract with one designed to hold a patient evacuation lift. After the main building works were underway, we carried out extensive surveys, which revealed there were numerous services located along the route of the foundations. As a result, we worked closely with the structural engineer and designers to relocate the stairways to ensure critical services weren’t disrupted.

This project presented many logistical challenges. Our working area was completely surrounded by a traffic route and that affected the design and management of our site compound.  A main road that runs south of the hospital had to be diverted around the compound in a new one-way system. Once the steelwork was in place, we then had to increase our working area to allow for the delivery of additional materials and create a new traffic route to enable the footings to be installed for the two staircases.

Extensive surveys were carried out to ensure occupiers would not be disturbed by any noise or vibrations. Very flexible working, including out of hours, was also required to meet the timescales and minimise disruption.

All hurdles were overcome, and the new cancer care ward was handed over on schedule, enabling it to open to patients on 13 December 2020, a day earlier than originally anticipated.

“Utmost thanks to the team for the phenomenal hard work, getting things organised and set up so efficiently against such incredibly tight timelines and opening a day ahead of the original target date.” “Thank you to LST Projects for their efficiency and adaptability in accommodating modifications along the way. From a clinical perspective we are very grateful to have brand new facilities for patient care.”
Dr Matthew Jenner, Consultant Haematologist, Haematology Clinical Lead at University Hospital Southampton.

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