Major redevelopment of the Royal Sussex County Hospital site in Brighton to deliver a modern, clinically-renowned and world-leading teaching hospital.
The ‘3Ts’ development is transforming the Royal Sussex County Hospital, one of the oldest in the country, with a three-phase plan to improve services and provide a new regional centre for Trauma, Teaching, and Tertiary Care.
The recently completed (Q2 2023) Stage 1 – the first and largest of the three-stage programme – delivers 62,000 sq m of clinical and support accommodation in the new Louisa Martindale Building, named after the first female GP in Brighton who became one of the world’s leading gynaecologists.
The redevelopment takes the front half of the hospital from the 19th to 21st century – by facilitating the decanting of services from the oldest acute ward building in the NHS (the Barry Building, which opened in 1828) to the newest clinical building in NHS England.
The building provides major new facilities for more than 30 wards and departments, new diagnostic and theatre capacity, as well as increased capacity for the departments with high demand, including neurosciences, stroke services and intensive care.
Performing a key role as the flagship of the Government’s Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP) – a £3.7 billion programme of health infrastructure investment launched in September 2019 - the 3Ts redevelopment aims to set the standard for the nationwide rollout of the remaining hospital builds over the next decade.
Appointed in January 2021, we worked alongside the scheme’s contractor, Laing O’Rourke, to provide construction supervision, cost management and project management services to manage the execution of the NEC2 contract.
Our role on Phase 1 involved preventing delays and construction overspend through oversight of the contractor and management of the NEC2 contract. Careful liaison with relevant stakeholders, delivery of a robust change management process and reporting to the correct level of detail were all established during our commission. The team was responsible for checking compliance of the build with the specification and the witnessing of services. The cost management team oversaw all applications for payment in collaboration with the NEC2 PM, reviewed all quotations and produced monthly updates on the cost plan. The client was kept constantly informed on the cost position on this challenging build.
Stage 2 of the re-development is currently in the pre-building (pre-construction services agreement) stage, with McBains leading the consultancy of the planning stages. Stage 2 will remove the existing vacant buildings and construct a new Sussex Cancer Centre, providing 29,000 sq m of clinical and support accommodation, providing far more availability for current and future patients, increasing the number of chemotherapy beds and radiotherapy machines.
Challenges & Solutions
1. Design assessment and compliance
Multiple aspects of the design were interrogated and assessed to ensure planning permissions were granted as well as considering items such as infection control, access management, medical gas provision as well as providing compliant facilities.
2. Value and cost management
A technology review and benefit analysis were produced, with a focus on modern construction techniques and technologies providing flexibility and cost savings, allowing a best value for money solution for the Trust.
3. Logistics, phasing and construction management plan
The success of the project depended on the project phases aligning the traffic, delivery, and site operatives available. We carefully reviewed the construction plan to avoid clashes and interface between phases and the existing building.
4. Covid-19 Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic presented a number of challenges but through a collaborative approach - instilled into the project team by McBains - we have overseen vast improvements in the quality assurance processes, programme management and client-contractor relationships – all during a period which has experienced reduced resources, increased levels of home working and reduced availability from suppliers.
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