Healthcare construction remains buoyant at a time when construction is facing supply chain and labour challenges. It is therefore more important than ever to find a trusted healthcare construction
contractor who can deliver projects on time and on budget.
According to the Glenigan Construction Review 2022, the sector entered 2023 with a strong pipeline of projects. In the three months to the end of November last year, detailed planning approvals totalled more than £1.8 billion, an increase of 85 per cent on the previous year. Major project approvals totalled almost £1 billion.
On top of this, the NHS and private healthcare companies are carrying out a large amount of other works such as refurbishments. This puts pressure on procurement to find the best contractors for the job.
Here are the key characteristics that healthcare companies should look for in a construction contractor:
- Proven track record
- Dust and disease control
- Understanding of access requirements
- Consideration for patient wellbeing
- Protection of hospital equipment
- Experience with asbestos
1.Proven track record
Look for a contractor with a proven track record in healthcare construction. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are very different environments to mainstream construction projects and bring
their own unique challenges. Finding a healthcare construction contractor with this experience is vital. Ask for testimonials from other healthcare providers who have used the contractor, or for case studies such as MGM’s work with Northumbria Healthcare Trust.
MGM has extensive experience working in healthcare construction in the North East of England. Recent projects include an office refurbishment that also required plant replacement, and a full refurbishment of two buildings specialising in the rehabilitation and treatment of mental health patients. We have also carried out several smaller schemes within a live hospital environment.
2.Dust and disease control
A contractor who understands healthcare construction will know the importance of infection control
and dust management.
Control measures could be as simple as regularly vacuuming or mopping areas where dust is being
created, through to more thorough procedures such as jet washing or using dedicated dust
containment systems and air filtration.
3. Understanding access requirements
Work in existing hospitals means operating in a live, busy environment. A good healthcare construction company will provide you with plans demonstrating that construction works and workers will be kept away from patients, staff and visitors. This might mean shutting off certain corridors and ensuring that workers use a different entrance.
Also think about access to elevators to transport bulkier items such as small plant equipment – for
example air filters, industrial vacuums, and perhaps even low-level access platforms for work at
4. Patient wellbeing
Construction projects often generate a lot of noise, which is not ideal for patients trying to rest and
recuperate. A good contractor will consider how to minimise this impact on patients by liaising with
hospital managers. If the work is going to generate a lot of noise for an extended period, think about
moving nearby patients elsewhere before it starts.
5.Protecting hospital equipment
Hospitals usually have extremely expensive and sensitive pieces of equipment, often costing millions
of pounds. A good construction contractor with experience in healthcare construction will
understand the importance of not impacting or damaging these vital machines – and make sure that
all workers are briefed accordingly.
6. Working with asbestos
Unfortunately, asbestos is prevalent in NHS buildings erected in the 1950s through to the 1970s – sometimes it is even found in hospitals built in the 1980s. Asbestos is the greatest single cause of work-related deaths in Britain, so it is paramount that it is handled professionally.
If you know that you have asbestos in your hospital, or think there is a likelihood that it was used in the building’s construction, then working with a contractor who can deal with it is vital.
Talk to us
If you want an experienced healthcare construction contractor with a proven track record in the North East, talk to us. Call us on 0191 482 2100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.