Case Studies

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Lincolnshire Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust – Brant Ward

Project overview:

Lincolnshire Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) provides care and treatment for people who are recovering from severe or long-term mental illness, in and around the East Midlands. The Trust offers specialist services to people across many disciplines of mental health, learning disability and social care for people of all ages.

The Brant Ward project comprised the refurbishment of the current inpatient ward to Care Quality Commission (CQC) acceptable standards. Brant Ward is a low secure unit for adults with learning disabilities providing specialist assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for adult males detained under the Mental Health Act.  The unit required an extension to the existing assessment and accommodation unit to facilitate a safe and secure ‘De-escalation Room’.

An extension was planned to facilitate the provision of 18 new single bedrooms with en-suites, converting the remaining existing multi-bed rooms into single bedrooms with en-suites, designed to incorporate a swing zone enabling flexibility in the male/female ratio.

What we did:

We were asked to provide Cost Advisor/Assistant Project Manager services for the Brant Ward project to ensure that the construction was delivered on time and to budget. The project was procured under the Procure 22 framework.

The works were carried out in a vacated ward, adjacent to another live ward and comprised refurbishment of the existing unit together with the construction of two new-build extensions.

The Challenge:

The main challenge was to deliver the project swiftly from our initial appointment. The Procure 22 framework allowed us to do so, as a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) can be agreed before the project has been fully designed. This allows construction to start earlier than a traditionally tendered project would, but relies on strong risk management and strict change control measures being implemented as set out in the contract, for successful conclusion.

Additional works were instructed by the client, such as the replacement of external doors and a gable end, due to the condition of the existing building. This along with some of the floors and fire doors didn’t comply with the specification, causing a slight delay. The contractor was able to resolve these immediately, but it did take time to get different trades back to site.

The project was a real success with the actual cost coming in below the adjusted GMP, resulting in £50k gain share for the client, which they re-invested into enhanced landscaping and a bike shelter.

Our achievements:

We pride ourselves on developing good relationships on the projects that we work on, with clients and contractors. On the Brant Ward project, we demonstrated this by ensuring a partnering spirit ensued throughout the project. We assisted/motivated all members of the team to achieve the strict contractual timescales when dealing with change control and any issues raised on site.

The client received value for money and a successful completion of a project with which they are rightly proud of. The facility is now in use and all members of staff and service users are passing on their thanks for a high-quality building, which they want to be their benchmark moving forwards.

As a result of our performance on this first project for LPFT, they are appointing us to be their Cost Advisor/Assistant Project Manager on a £5m Female High Dependency Unit, as well as asking us to prepare cost option estimates for a proposed £30 million Acute Mental Health Unit.