Delivering three new hospital wards during a pandemic

22 Jun 2020

Modular construction specialist Darwin Group has completed the first of three new wards, scaling 4,438 sq. m, for NHS Trusts across Britain. The first of which is at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan.

Amidst the height of the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown, Darwin Group completed the brand-new, permanent emergency Nightingale Ward for the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust. The modular build was designed, manufactured and completed onsite ahead of schedule in less than 40 days.

The ward accommodation facility, which scales more than 1,156 sq. m, will support the local community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with an additional 50 in-patient beds, split across two separate Nightingale Wards – both ready to occupy.

Chris Knights, Deputy Director of Strategy and Planning at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust, said: “We are now better placed than most to manage the COVID-19 crisis. The team ethic, professionalism and sheer determination shown to get this project completed in a time of such uncertainty is to be commended. Darwin Group were able to provide a slick service, enabling us to meet current demand – their construction process is of the highest quality and this experience will stay with me for the rest of my career.”

Darwin Group’s innovative modular building solutions are manufactured in a highly controlled environment at its state-of-the-art production facilities in Shrewsbury. This control of the critical element of the supply chain enables complete quality management and greater flexibility to plan production to meet demand.

The complex nature of these projects made it necessary for significant works to progress within a live hospital setting during the construction phase. Darwin Group’s commitment and dedication to adapt and strengthen its already comprehensive site working practices to observe social distancing measures, successfully enabled it to provide these much-needed facilities in spite of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

This crisis has magnified the benefits of utilising modern methods to construct buildings off-site and deliver against previously impossible deadlines. This way of working also significantly reduces the potential for disruption at sensitive user sites, such as hospitals or educational establishments.

Charles Pierce, Managing Director at the Darwin Group, added: “As a proud British company, we wanted our people to make a difference towards the national effort in battling coronavirus. Their expertise in modern methods of construction will allow us to deliver three new high-quality, permanent hospital wards at a time when they are needed most.”