If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes on a large scale building project, today’s your lucky day.
If you pay a visit to any of our hospital sites across Northern Lincolnshire and Goole, you’ll get a glimpse into the future of healthcare in this region.
We’re working tirelessly to create facilities which will provide you and your loved ones with the best possible healthcare both now and in the future, refurbishing our existing buildings and creating bespoke new areas to serve your needs.
Some of these areas are already up and running.
Other areas are still at the early stages of construction and you will see dramatic changes to our sites as they are transformed by our new Emergency Departments.
But construction is the final stage of a long and complex journey.
Programme lead and Associate Director of Capital Development, Mike Simpson, explains more.
When we talk about our ongoing work to build new facilities and refurbish our existing buildings to provide the best possible patient care, what springs to mind?
I’m guessing it’s construction sites – hard hats, safety jackets and machinery – but the actual building work is the final stage of a much longer process.
At the heart of that process is our belief that we can help make our communities stronger and healthier by giving you access to the highest standards of care and being there for you when you need us.
But in order to do that, we need to ensure our clinical staff have the right buildings, equipment and technology they need to provide you with that care.
We know that our buildings are getting older and some of our equipment is coming to the end of its useful life.
And that’s how the journey we’re on now started.
Behind the scenes
We reviewed our services and whole estate and started to make plans about how we could make improvements, prioritised on the basis of what would be most beneficial to your health.
Top of the list was to create new Acute Assessment Units (AAUs), purpose built to cope with the demands of our growing communities – both now and in the future.
We also knew we needed to invest in new scanners and equipment for our wards; improve the energy efficiency of our buildings and reduce our maintenance costs by upgrading or replacing those areas in need of repair.
We put together a plan outlining all the works we wanted to carry out and my team began to scope out possible sources of funding for the programme.
With so many different aspects of the programme to consider – each with different funding applications to be made – this was no mean feat.
However, in 2018 the Government announced funding was to be made available for trusts in our position to upgrade their aging estate.
This was our chance. The Trust submitted a bid and were provisionally awarded £29.26 million.
Now the real work started, as we had to put together a business case to demonstrate how we would use this to achieve the biggest benefit for you.
One of the first steps was to gather evidence, which we used to develop clinical plans, patient models
It’s an unusual process. Normally when you’re bidding for funding, you would develop your case for change, outline the possible designs and options and say that in order to do this you will need £xxx.
It’s all in the detail
In this case, we had to develop the project to make the most of a pre-determined budget.
To do this effectively, we needed to pull together lots of information, speak to our frontline clinicians about the reality of the challenges they face and find out what is needed to overcome them.
We also gathered key data to help illustrate the need for investment and how it will help to shape and enable services to transition and improve.
Armed with this detail, we were able to continue to work with our frontline teams to put together our final plans, all the while putting in further successful funding bids to further develop the programme.
Another important aspect of the programme’s development was to ensure that we and our contractors were maximising the benefits of using modern methods of construction – reducing costs and securing the best possible energy efficiency.
Since 2019 we have secured additional funding through a variety of central Government funding opportunities.
As a result of this work so far we have been able to open the Coastal CT and MRI suites at Grimsby, begin work on extending the MRI suite at Scunthorpe and the new Emergency Departments and decked car parks at Grimsby and Scunthorpe are being built as we speak.
We have also been able to carry out much needed improvements to key worker office accommodation, and our doctors’ mess facilities.
The work and forethought of the team has also meant we have been able to continue to provide you with full Accident and Emergency services throughout the build process.
And, in the background, the teams are continuing to work on the plans for our Acute Assessment Units which will be located within the existing EDs once the new facilities are built.
They’re making sure that when work begins on the development of these new departments, they get the same attention to detail and continued service.
What makes this programme of work so important to them is that many of them not only work here at NLaG but live in this area too.
They know that the changes they’re making now will not only benefit the wider community but their own friends and loved ones for years to come – and the buzz around the team is really clear to see.
I’m incredibly proud of what they have achieved so far and excited to see what’s still to come, as we continue to do all we can to give you the care that you deserve.