Situated in Gorleston, Norfolk, on the most easterly stretch of the UK coastline, the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) cares for a population of over a quarter of a million local residents.
Named after the famous surgeon, the hospital officially opened in July 1982, and as it goes deep into its 41st year of operation, we celebrate a decade of delivering projects together across the hospital’s estate.
The intensity of use, and changing landscape of the NHS, place a demand on it that its assets keep pace. Over the last decade we have worked on a range of improvement projects that have kept this hospital at the cutting edge of care for its patients.
Bringing Intelligent Solutions
It comes to reason then, that the scope of projects at a hospital like this can vary widely. Anything from ward refurbishments to large scale new builds can be expected, as the hospital continues to keep pace with its growing population.
At JPUH this absolutely rings true. Over the last ten years the team has carried out anything from bespoke structural support systems to a brand-new state-of-the-art theatre complex – projects which have varied from long-term builds to fast paced reactive refurbishments.
Because of this, one of the most important qualities for delivering in an acute care setting has been flexibility. Now whilst that may sound obvious, it’s been the wide-ranging set of challenges and timescales of these projects that have meant tailoring every solution to those project's key needs, whilst planning minimal impact on patient services and outcomes.
For example, when the new emergency department extension needed to be designed and delivered in just a matter of weeks leading up to Christmas 2020, a modular method of construction became the leading solution. Delivered in just 9 weeks on site, it enabled a large proportion of the works to be carried out offsite – especially important during COVID and for keeping blue light access for emergencies.
At the other end of the scale, the RAAC structural support solution has been a very different project. It means reactively and flexibly working in small areas of the hospital as they are cleared, to carry out structural repairs to the concrete roof planks. These areas can be released, or changed, at short notice, so agility and communication with all stakeholders to ensure the planned outcomes are achieved here is vital. To help ease the pressure further, our team came up with a completely new timber solution that delivers 70% faster than a traditional steel alternative.
Understanding the live environment
Whatever your job in a hospital, the ultimate purpose is to enable the best possible care for the patients – a purpose that’s important for our teams to embody, always.
Something that has helped enormously over the ten years is the unwavering consistency of our core team. Led by Tom Wilson – a senior project manager who’s been with the business for 20+ years – it has enabled us to learn the hospital inside out, as well as building great relationships with the various wards and departments over the hospital.
Whilst Tom and his team are constantly looking to challenge the status quo, making sure we bring the most intelligent solutions to each project, first and foremost they are putting the patients and clinicians first in their decision making.
This has ranged from bringing in X-Ray staff to help design the layout of their new suites – understanding the equipment size, use and operation was key in designing room layouts and logistics – to regular engagement with theatre staff and ward sisters to sensitively programme works and access around the needs of their live wards and theatres.
Building trust with the Trust
Fundamentally, delivering on time, in budget and ensuring the patient experience remains unaffected, are three of the key deliverables. You can add quality and safety to that mix as well.
It’s delivering on these that builds the trust for the next project and, over the last ten years, we’ve delivered 100% of projects on time and budget, with an average customer satisfaction score of 9.4/10.
But, where possible, our teams have also looked beyond the build to see how they can positively impact the hospital.
This has included booking magicians and balloon modellers for the children’s ward, getting them involved in hoarding decorations and we've even carried out a number of week-long volunteer project to transform a disused hospital courtyard into a rehabilitation area. These projects usually donate over 500 volunteer hours and more than £5,000 of materials, and have provided the hospital with practical ward extensions to help mobilise many of their patients.
Looking to the future
As we tip into 10 years of partnership, we’ve taken a deep dive into what has been the key learnings from working across such a wide range of projects, in every corner of the hospital. You can have a look at those key learnings here.
But, whilst it’s been important to look back, we’re more excited to look forward. We’re still on site delivering two important projects for the Trust, that will ensure they can continue to give the best possible care to their patients.
Beyond that, the Government has announced that it will receive national funding to explore all options for the building of a new hospital. So the future for James Paget is bright, and we’re certainly proud to have played a small part in the history of this fantastic hospital.
A full insight of the work we’ve delivered together can be found in this digital paper here.