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GBC Helps the Royal Surrey Build Covid-19 Isolation Ward in Record Time

Published on: 12 Jun, 2020
Updated on: 12 Jun, 2020

A prefabricated module of the new isolation “Guildford Borough Council Ward” at the Royal Surrey is lowered into position

by Martin Giles

A new and fully equipped 20-bed isolation ward is being built at Royal Surrey in record time to provide increased dedicated care for patients with Covid-19 or other infectious diseases.

Last week for the first time since before the lockdown commenced there were no Covid related deaths at the Royal Surrey. Hospitals are still not allowed to say how many Covid related cases they are currently dealing with, as confirmed by the RSCH today (June 12), but all NHS hospital trusts across the country need to be prepared if the rate of Coronavirus infections starts to grow again. Many predict the possibility of a second- and even a third-wave.

Gary Mountjoy, the Trust’s associate director of Estates and Facilities, said: “The Elite Systems modular unit has been partly constructed off-site and brought to the main site.

“It was a mammoth task. To install this new Guildford Borough Council Ward the team has had to remove trees, level 4,200 tonnes of soil, install service infrastructure and lay 11,000 tonnes of foundations and footings.

“It is so important to be able to isolate infectious patients. This will allow us to gradually increase traditional services and resume postponed treatments and appointments.”

The ward contains 20 isolation rooms, allowing treatment of infectious patients away from the main hospital. It will provide a high standard of treatment including CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). It will initially be used to care for patients with Covid-19, but can be used for the treatment of patients with other infectious diseases.

Mr Mountjoy added: “This has been a truly collaborative effort between Estates, Jacqui Tingle, the director of Infection Prevention and Control (DIPC), the Infection Control Team, the Health and Safety team, and the team at Elite Systems.

“We would also like to say a huge thank you to Guildford Borough Council for their understanding in allowing this new ward to be built in such a short time. The ward has been named after them to show our appreciation for all their support during this time.”

An aerial view of the whole new isolation ward site.

Cllr Caroline Reeves, Leader of the Council said: “I am pleased to be able to celebrate the opening of the new ward at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, built in record time to help with the increased need through the current pandemic. These collaborative works are important to help our NHS colleagues who have done an outstanding job since the start of the coronavirus.

Council Leader Caroline Reeves

“We hope the new ward will help the Royal Surrey provide a secure environment, increase capacity and allow the best possible care for those suffering from infectious diseases.

“The hospital has been a beacon of light in these difficult times and we owe so much to everyone at the hospital whatever part they have played. Our NHS has looked after our residents tremendously well and we will continue to work closely and support them where we can. We are so happy that we can help and are delighted that they have decided to name the ward after us.”

Jason Bowker, commercial director of Elite Systems, said: “Normally, a building of this size and complexity would take a year from planning to operational status, so to deliver this within four months is quite extraordinary.

“My team has worked extremely hard and done a fantastic job. It’s been a pleasure working with Royal Surrey and I know this ward will provide a safe environment to care for its Covid-19 patients.” The new unit is to be fully operational from the beginning of July.

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