Towards the end of last year MTX were awarded the contract to design and build a temporary 6-bed ward to extend the emergency department at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport. Remarkably, the new building has been installed in just six weeks thanks to MTX’s brand new building system, known as the WardPod, which provides rapid response accommodation to cater for short and medium term accommodation requirements.
One major area of expertise for MTX is fast track modular construction, which is where buildings are pre-fabricated off-site in a factory-controlled environment and then craned in to position. MTX were originally contracted by Stepping Hill Hospital in 2009 to build a new 3 storey modular extension to the Cardiology Department which included 2 operating theatres and ward areas to cater for 38 additional beds. Four years on and this project is still used as an example to NHS Trusts up and down the country to demonstrate the quality and finish that can be achieved when using modular construction methods.
David Hartley, MTX Commercial Director explains “The reason why this type of building method is fast becoming the method of choice for NHS Trusts is largely due to the phenomenal speed in which buildings can be installed; on average a modular building, like the one installed at Stepping Hill Hospital in 2009, can be installed 50% quicker than a traditional building installation, and with NHS Trusts catering for a rising demand in accommodation requirements due to aging populations and changing patient pathways, NHS Trusts are increasingly tasked with finding innovative ways of providing additional accommodation within record times”.
However the new WardPod recently installed at Stepping Hill Hospital has taken this MTX modular building concept to a whole new level. After years of working with NHS Trusts up and down the country, MTX have experienced first hand the miracles hospital staff and estates managers perform everyday in order to ‘squeeze’ the most out of their facilities.
The WardPod, and similar ORPod (which contains a fully functional Operating Theatre), can be delivered to the hospital within record time; on average 8 weeks for an 6-bed WardPod and 10 weeks for an ORPod, to help NHS Trusts combat short and medium term demand whilst a more permanent solution can be found. And whilst one would think this might come at the cost of compromising the quality of the patients’ hospital experience, end-users and patients have commented on how bright and comfortable the temporary buildings look and feel.
The MTX WardPod at Stepping Hill Hospital was handed over to the trust on Friday 15th February and was fully operational and up and running on Monday 18th February. The new building situated on an unused piece of land adjacent to the main hospital entrance, links directly to the A&E department and once inside patients and staff do not notice they’re leaving the main hospital building.
Talking of the recent installation Stockport NHS Trust’s Estates Director, Paul Holt said “We have successfully worked with MTX on several capital projects over a number of years and found them to offer an excellent service. On this occasion we set an almost impossible challenge of delivering a fully equipped modular 6 bed medical unit adjacent to our Emergency department within 3 1/2 months. Not only did they deliver, we opened 3 days earlier than planned. Given that we built this unit in the worst possible months in terms of cold weather including two occasions when we had 100mm of snow, MTX provided significant professional advice through their turnkey solution, putting together the right project team that created an attractive warm modern clinical environment. The positive impact was immediate in supporting the ongoing and exceptional clinical service we offer the residents of Stockport”.