RSK company Silcock Leedham has assisted NHS England in setting up its Nightingale critical care temporary hospital in Harrogate, UK, as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On 20 March 2020, the consulting engineers were put on standby as part of the BAM Construction team for the Yorkshire hospital, as the mechanical and electrical engineering specialists for the hospital design. On 27 March, the team attended a briefing with the British Army and the NHS and immediately began undertaking a feasibility study and detailed site survey over 27 to 28 March. Less than a month later, on Tuesday, 21 April, NHS Nightingale Yorkshire and the Humber has opened its doors and is ready for its first patients.
“We completed engineering design for all eight halls including 490 high dependency bed-heads,” comments Silcock Leedham Managing Director Mike Silcock. “Our sister company, Verisys, also carried out all validation and commissioning work on specialist hospital systems. We have been working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for the last fortnight to ensure we meet the necessary deadlines. Impressively, the new facility was constructed in less than two weeks, converting eight halls normally used for exhibitions and events into the temporary hospital containing 500 level 3 critical care beds. The project was incredibly challenging, not only because of the associated urgency, but also due to the constraints of the building being adapted. While the original NHS Nightingale Hospital London was adapted from the ExCel London building, a modern, purpose-built event venue with one major open hall, Harrogate is a more inaccessible venue, more than 30 years old, with eight separate halls.
“We are proud to be able to use our skills and expertise to assist with the country’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you to all the team who have worked so hard over the last fortnight to ensure that our part in the amazing new hospital was completed on time and to the high standards we set ourselves.”
Mike was also interviewed on BBC Radio York following the hospital’s opening. You can listen again on the BBC website (the interview starts at around 3:40:00).
You can read more about the hospital opening on the BBC news website.