Due to the Covid-19 crisis, Integrated Health Projects (IHP) was asked by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals to accelerate the delivery of Phases 1 and 2 of Preston’s Critical Care Unit. The team immediately implemented a 24/7 three-shift work pattern to reduce the programme duration by seven weeks.

Interior view of Preston Critical Care Unit

Jack Street, NHS Capital Project Manager, said: “We took possession of a dilapidated part of the estate, extended and converted it into some new world class critical care beds in a fully modern healthcare environment. The works were accelerated to bring these beds on-line earlier which the contractor IHP, led by Adam Watts, achieved by working 24/7 for the past two months – an incredible achievement.”

The Critical Care Unit comprises a new-build extension and refurbishment of the existing single-storey building.

Jo Agnew, Critical Care Business Manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “The IHP team at all times acted in a respectful and professional manner whilst working in close proximity to the existing critical care unit, theatres, MRI and surrounding wards. Nothing that we requested was too much trouble. Construction activities were planned ahead on a weekly basis and if a particular item of work was causing too much of a disturbance it was stopped immediately. We would like to extend our thanks to IHP – the clinical teams are absolutely thrilled with our new unit.”

The new unit includes 34 beds with increased natural light and enhanced patient facilities, with a focus on rehabilitation. Facilities for visitors include a kitchen and lockers, with the staff facilities also being upgraded with a brand-new clinical skills room and a quiet space to encourage mindfulness in the workplace.

“After 11 weeks of acceleration measures, IHP successfully handed over Phase 1 and 2 on time” said Adam Watts, Vinci Construction UK and IHP’s Senior Construction Manager. “This was a tough project with a very challenging client. What stands out most of all is that the team has all worked together throughout these difficult circumstances to create a positive ‘can do’ working environment where nothing was too much to ask.”