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Challenging project reaches completion

Work has been completed on a new £7.3m critical care unit (CCU) at Barnsley Hospital.

Contractor, I&G, has finished building work on the facility, which is located in a former courtyard surrounded by active hospital buildings. The challenging construction project involved the demolition of an existing facility and the creation of a new CCU, increasing the number of beds from seven to 16. And the work was accompanied by a host of logistical challenges, with three internal levels being constructed simultaneously. All construction materials, equipment, and miles of cabling had to be brought in through a 2m x 2m doorway – an achievement compared by workers to being like building a hospital ward through the back of an ambulance. As well as difficulties around getting materials onto site, the build was also taking place in a live hospital environment, with access to operating rooms and the emergency birthing route needing to be maintained around the clock.

Despite all these issues, the build was completed on budget, with no accidents, and with no loss of service. As well as doubling the number of seriously-ill patients who can be cared for in the department, the new facility also has more space, with extra privacy for patients, better lighting, and more space for physiotherapists to conduct bedside consultations. And it is nearer the surgical high dependency unit, so patient transfers are easier, with an additional area for patients’ families to stay overnight also created. The facility is also pandemic-ready, with eight extra escalation bays which can be brought into service overnight if needed.

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