Integrated Health Projects (a joint venture between VINCI Construction UK and Sir Robert McAlpine), has successfully handed over a project at Royal Blackburn Hospital, delivered through the ProCure22 framework. This is the second scheme completed by the team for the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust over the last 4 years. 

The new ‘Acute Medical Unit’ (AMU) provides a high-quality rapid assessment service for patients with acute medical and surgical problems. The extension will free up space within the existing hospital allowing for refurbishment of existing wards, whilst improving waiting time and reducing congestion in the A&E Department. 

Comprising of 6-bed bays, two of which are high observation, front of house reception with multi-disciplinary team and staff support facilities, the unit replaces one of the two existing AMUs on site, bringing services closer to create a co-located emergency hub. 

Project team inside Royal Blackburn Hospital.

 A number of logistical and technical challenges were overcome in delivering the project, including constructing two new first floor access link bridges over the mortuary access road, whilst maintaining 24/7 access for the service and relocating the emergency generator fuel tanks, whilst maintaining the readiness of the generators. The success of the scheme has already led to Integrated Health Projects (IHP) being awarded a follow-on phase of extending and refurbishing the hospital’s Emergency Department, which has commenced on site. 

Garry Bowker, VINCI’s Regional Director, said: “We are delighted to have successfully handed over the new AMU which will provide excellent new facilities for patients and staff at Royal Blackburn Hospital. We are especially proud to have handed over on programme despite working through the duration of the COVID pandemic.  

“The quality of the design and the works are to an extremely high standard and are a credit to the IHP team, supply chain and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. We look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the Trust on future projects.” 

Clare Boyd, ELHT Project Manager, said: “Yet again IHP has supported the Trust to provide a high-class patient focused facility that will improve the experience and care of our patients. The challenges faced across the NHS and in particularly at the present time, rely on support from partners who understand those challenges and who will work to minimise disruption and solve problems. At all times the team delivered on their promises and exceeded the Trusts expectation to ensure the project was not impacted by COVID-19.  

 “The AMU staff can’t wait to welcome the first patients to their new unit, everyone who has visited has been incredibly impressed with the facilities and environment. We look forward to working with the team now on our Emergency Department and Ward upgrade programmes. Thanks to everyone involved.”