We installed M&E services for an advanced new endoscopy and pathology unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital. The work was carried out while ensuring that essential clinical services remained up and running.
A £6m facility, purpose-designed by Dunwoodie Architects and Desco, was created at Sunderland Royal Hospital to rationalise and improve endoscopy services in the area. The new unit has increased capacity and the environment meets best practice standards for patient flow, quality, experience and safety, as well as providing the latest technologically advanced equipment.
The pathology department, which was situated within the existing footprint, was to be reduced in size to accommodate an improved endoscopy department. All non-urgent pathology tests would be relocated from Sunderland to a new centralised pathology unit at Gateshead Queen Elizabeth Hospital, serving the wider area.
The Sunderland pathology department would continue to include a ‘hot laboratory’, which carries out urgent clinical tests, while non-urgent ‘cold’ tests would be provided at Gateshead. Phased working was employed to allow this hot lab to stay operational throughout the project.
The hot lab operates the only blood analysis machine in the North East of England, which had to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
NHS services remained in use around the endoscopy area, including the pathology lab as well as operating theatres.
Careful planning and collaboration ensured that we avoided disruption to theatre staff and patients. Noisy activities, such as drilling and bracketing, had to be carried out early in the morning before any medical operations started.
The works to the pathology department were phased into three stages to enable the client to continue working, with our operations planned on a weekly basis.
The works for the new endoscopy department, the larger of the two projects, involved a full stripping out of the ward and re-installation of services for four endoscopy rooms, with the potential for two more in the future. Daily work was meticulously planned to ensure the programme continued on track and the handover was not delayed.