Half year to Target Completion of New Acute Hospital

22/11/2011

Half year to Target Completion of New Acute Hospital

With only six months to go until Northern Ireland Health Group complete the construction of the new £276million acute hospital and the facilities are really taking shape.  The room validation process has just started and the first wards at the hospital are very near completion. 

Speaking today, Deputy Chief Executive for the Western Trust Joe Lusby said: “This is really an exciting period in the lifetime of our new state-of-the-art acute hospital.  As the finishing touches are put on the first hospital wards we can see what a wonderful facility this will be.  Patients will be cared for and treated in single ensuite rooms and our nurses, doctors and the clinical teams will deliver services in leading edge settings.  The first blocks of the hospital are very near completion and a process to verify that the rooms are completed to specification is now well underway.  This process will provide the independent and expert reassurance that both the Western Trust and NIHG require and shall ensure that the buildings are finished to the highest technical and clinical standards that have been set.”South West Hospital Nov 2011 2

The room validation process is only one part of the overall independent testing process.  This complex due diligence process has involved the independent tester being onsite since construction started in May 2009 carrying out a series of inspections and witnessing all aspects of the build including verification of the contractor’s quality management systems.  The independent testing also ensures that all utilities e.g electricity and water together with essential services for the treatment of patients such as medical gases are commissioned before the building opens to patients in June 2012.

Dave Ramsey, who heads up the Independent Tester Team, commented: “This is a high quality build and being a hospital, it is highly technical, full of advanced technology.  My team and I have to ensure that everything is right.

“I look at every aspect of the building and make sure that everything on the build specification has been delivered exactly as it should be and to the standard specified.  The objective is to get a first class hospital facility that meets the Western Trust’s requirements, a facility which the project partners are happy to have delivered and that the contractors are proud to be part of.”   

Keith Abel, General Manager of the Northern Ireland Health Group the Western Trust’s PFI partner said: “This hospital is a highly complex building.  It contains somewhere in the region of 2,500 rooms.   The wards and clinical areas are completed in a sequential manner and offered to the Independent Tester for validation in forty separate zones over a six month period.  We have now commenced that validation process which culminates with the issue by the Independent Tester of the Certificate of Practical Completion.”

Dr Jim Kelly, Western Trust Consultant Geriatrician at the Erne and Lead Clinician for the new acute hospital said: “Clinical staff are excited about the new hospital facilities and an intensive programme of site familiarisation and training has commenced to prepare for the move in June 2012."

In addition to the construction of the buildings, the Western Trust is putting all the necessary plans in place to ensure the new hospital is ready to receive patients in June 2012.  Staff from each department has been assigned responsibilities for this important stage to make sure everything happens to plan.  This includes the purchase of new medical equipment, new operational procedures for each service area, training plans, as well as a comprehensive plan for the safe transfer of patients from the current Erne Hospital to the new acute hospital facility.