A new inpatient ward and theatre block has been officially opened at Doncaster Royal Infirmary following an expedited period of development and construction which began in May 2021.
As part of a £12.4 million investment, the extension has been placed to the rear of the existing Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and, alongside significant enabling works, contains a modern surgical theatre and related plant room, as well as two inpatient wards which will initially house Paediatric services and increase the hospital’s overall bed capacity by 24. The area has been completed using modern methods of construction (MMC) and cutting edge technology by ModuleCo – with similar techniques employed in the construction of facilities such as university student accommodation, the hotel industry, as well as hospitals about to be built as part of the Government’s new programme.
Working with ModuleCo and Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP), throughout October the Trust took delivery of a number of modules, which make-up the theatre unit and children’s ward, with appropriate link corridors created so that they are integrated seamlessly within the existing building.
The area was officially opened in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday 10 December, by Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive at DBTH, and Suzy Brain England, Chair of the Board at DBTH.
Speaking about the expansion, Richard: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to open these new facilities – and share my deepest thanks with those colleagues and partners who managed this project so adeptly and to such a tight schedule. Since the water leak occurred earlier this year, we have had to make space within the hospital for some of our displaced services, such as paediatrics, which, given the activity driven by COVID-19, has made things challenging. With this new block we will be able to transition services back within the footprint of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, co-locating expertise once again, ensuring we have the relevant specialities and their staff all in one place.
“Crucially, this area is built to last and will help to increase our overall bed capacity throughout the challenging winter months, and, once our paediatric services are moved back to their original wards once repairs are complete in the main Women’s and Children’s Hospital block, this extension will be used for other inpatient services, while the theatre accommodation is one of the finest, if the not the best, suite within the Trust, and will benefit patients for years to come. “
In late April 2021, a significant water leak occurred on the east wing of the building, significantly damaging the electrical infrastructure and, as such, forcing the relocation of some paediatric and maternity services. Ever since the incident, extensive repair works have been underway within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital which will be completed in 2022.
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital was built as part of a wide-scale expansion of DRI which began in 1962 as it became Britain’s first District General Hospital. The aforementioned building was complete in 1967 and has been in operation ever since, and is the venue for an average of 4,000 births every single year.
Dr Kirsty Edmondson Jones, Strategic Director of Estates and Facilities at DBTH, said: “This project has been a huge undertaking and the speed at which it has been achieved, from our initial conversations to seeing this facility constructed and operational, has been nothing short of breath taking. I want to share my thanks with our partners at Module Co, as well as those at Integrated Health Projects and VINCI Construction as well as members of the Estates and Facilities team within the Trust. Working closely with colleagues within my team, everyone involved in this project has pulled out all the stops and their dedication and endless can-do attitude will undoubtedly have a hugely positive effect on our patients this winter, and well into the future – thank you all once again.”
The overall cost of this development has been approximately £12.4 million, which includes the cost of the wards and theatres, as well as enabling works and repairs to the east side of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.