How Pennington Choices’ subsidiary Auburn Ainsley helped ‘modernise’ Sheffield Children’s Hospital
The number of patients admitted to NHS hospitals is growing year on year. A recent report produced by NHS Digital found that adult critical care admissions to English hospitals have increased by 22% since 2011-12, the question therefore is how can our hospitals cope with this rising volume of traffic?
With the Conservative Party promising an extra £33.9 billion a year for the NHS, the answer lies in investing in the modernisation of our hospitals.
Sheffield Children’s Hospital
One specific example of an NHS Trust modernising its hospitals to provide a better service for its patients is at the award-winning Sheffield Children’s Hospital (SCH) project, a project formally opened by the Duke of Sussex in July 2019.
Sheffield-based Auburn Ainsley were appointed by the Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to provide Quantity Surveying services on the £40-million-pound project, consisting of four new wards and a Play Tower right at its heart.
Auburn Ainsley has over 80 years’ worth of experience and are trusted throughout the healthcare sector. Because of this, they have an on-going relationship with Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and have delivered numerous projects for the Trust over a 20-year period.
As the Quantity Surveyors on the Sheffield Children’s Hospital project, the challenge lay in squeezing a large extension into an existing site, whilst the premises remained open and fully in use throughout. The hospital receives crucial daily deliveries of medical and other equipment, so when an existing access road had to be blocked off to allow for an L-shaped extension, Auburn Ainsley ensured that enabling works contracts were let as the detailed design developed for the main project.
Large projects such as this often face setbacks, whether that be through a breakdown in relationships or a delay in delivery. Unfortunately for Auburn Ainsley, this job was no different.
The project was delayed two years due to design and contractor issues out of their control as Quantity Surveyors. Yet, Auburn Ainsley were regarded highly in their work on the project and were subsequently invited to many meetings with the Director of Finance, Trust Solicitor and Expert Witness to add their professional and unbiased view on the different members of the team.
What separates Auburn Ainsley from other businesses is their persistence in ensuring that they produce great work to the client’s expectations. Throughout the project, they were able to provide a professional, balanced and reasonable view on all of the issues without falling privy to internal quarrels.
Ultimately, despite the issues, the project was delivered to a benchmarked cost, lower than other similar projects and therefore giving the client value for money. The project has since gone on to win three awards from Design Week, Building Better Healthcare and the Healthcare Estates IHEEM Award for the ‘Best New Build Project of the Year’.
“It makes it feel like home” Sheffield Children’s Hospital Patient
Projects like Sheffield Children’s Hospital are essential in improving the service and experience that the modern day patient requires when they visit a hospital. However, with children involved, it is even more important that they feel comfortable in their environment when they feel poorly, as a trip to the hospital is frightening enough. According to the SCH website, one child was quoted as saying “It makes it feel like home.”
As a sector, the aim should be to get responses like this from all of the patients who visit an NHS hospital, especially if they are spending large time periods there.