Major Fire Improvements Programme (NHS Trust)

Built in the 1980’s under Crown Immunity (Building Regulations exempt), this nucleus-design hospital has since suffered from a lack of investment in its infrastructure and required urgent fire safety upgrading.

In the 1990’s, the original flat roof was covered with a lightweight AshJack pitched roof that subsequently housed services plant such as air handling units. This ‘attic’ roof effectively became an additional floor and, therefore, required fire protection for safe access and egress. The existing flat roof (now a compartment floor) was of ‘woodwool’ construction with no evidence of it being fire rated which meant that it had to be protected from above and below.

Wilson Mason, in close liaison with the Trust, created a plan to address these necessary fire upgrade works in phases. General Fire Strategy and bespoke ‘fire engineered’ solutions have been developed alongside the Trust Fire Officer, with input from independent Fire Engineering consultants, and following guidance from manufacturers based on their tested details. There have been a number of hurdles to overcome including lack of decant space, proximity to PFI areas, site set up limitations, lack of ‘existing’ information, tight programme and insufficient original funding allocation.

Phases 1-3 including a water misting suppression system to the roof voids and substantial upgrades and reconfiguration works to 5No. level 1 wards; Bed Store; Lloyds Pharmacy; Urgent Treatment Centre; Maternity Bookings; 2No. Operating Theatres & Anaesthetics; HIV Clinic; Clinical Engineering and Education Centre (£21m over 6 building contracts) were completed in May 2023, whilst Phases 4-7 (A&E, Pharmacy, Pathology, Estates, DHU, Imaging & Maternity) have been developed but are awaiting funding approval.

The phases have also incorporated Clinical Improvements and Backlog Maintenance with associated user consultations as the funding became available during the building contracts.