Three hospitals in Kent have received significant upgrades, including ventilation, to convert Minor Injury Units (MIUs) into Urgent Treatment Centres (UTCs) to provide additional medical space and modern facilities.
Improvements were made to the MIUs at Victoria Memorial Hospital in Deal, Royal Victoria Hospital in Folkestone and Sevenoaks Hospital which are managed by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT).
The upgrades included improvements to ventilation enabling a flow of fresh air throughout the treatment centres, new lighting, flooring and upgraded waiting areas with disabled access across all sites.
In addition to the UTC upgrade, a new therapy kitchen has been installed on the inpatient ward at Sevenoaks Hospital. This will allow elderly and vulnerable patients to re-adapt to home life before leaving the wards following treatment.
Fleur Cromarty, head of estates capital projects at Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust (KCHFT), said: “The upgrades to these hospitals have been very well received and have allowed our clinical staff to continue to deliver their high standards of care in a modern environment with improved facilities throughout.
“The pandemic has been a challenge since it began but we were able to complete the works whilst continuing to provide patient care throughout the duration, thanks to the support of Ingleton Wood who were able to seamlessly manage these vital requirements.”
Property and construction consultancy Ingleton Wood provided full multi-disciplinary services, including the creation of feasibility reports for all three sites to determine the scope of the work and ensure that all requirements from the initial brief could be carried out within the given budget.
With stricter hygiene measures remaining in place as a result of the pandemic, it was required to upgrade the ventilation systems across all three hospitals to allow for a constant flow of fresh air throughout the units to improve the quality of the air and reduce the spread of viruses.
Mark Reeves, senior associate quantity surveyor at Ingleton Wood, said: “This was a vital project completed across three of the MIUs managed by KCHFT to provide much needed additional space to facilitate the new UTCs.
“Despite many challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to constraints in the budget, we were able to manage many different challenges and make any alternations to the plan as required.''