Case Studies

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Quantity Surveying – Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Project Overview

We were appointed by the Sheffield Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to provide Quantity Surveying services from the project’s inception, back in 2010, through to completion in 2018.

The project contains four new wards, therapy rooms, a patient dining room, a parent relaxation room, a teenager hangout room, a new outpatient department and has a Play Tower right at its heart. The existing main entrance accommodation has been enlarged and an on-site pharmacy added together with a Costa. Within the wards the 72 new children’s beds each have a fold-out bed next to them, giving parents a comfortable place to stay with their child. There is a basement car park next to a basement service yard so deliveries are never seen by patients or visitors.

Our services included the traditional services; feasibility estimates, cost planning, preparing tender documents and tender reports, and then monthly valuations and financial reports when the project was on site.

Why us?

We were appointed by SCH because of our on-going relationship delivering numerous projects over the last 20 years. They wanted “a safe pair of hands” to deliver this iconic project which also involved enabling works, totaling £4.5 million, to prepare the site and its infrastructure to receive such a large (£30m) project.





The challenge

The main challenge was to squeeze a very large extension into an existing site where an existing access road had to be blocked off to allow the L shaped extension to complete a “race track” ie connecting into the existing buildings at 2 points (one being its main entrance!). All this had to happen whilst the hospital remained fully in use with daily deliveries (via the access road) of medical and other equipment. The size of the building meant that the existing services infrastructure could not cope and so a dozen enabling works contracts were let as the detailed design developed for the main project. This ensured the site was ready for the piling rig and excavators to commence the basement car park and service yard.

What we did

We provided Quantity Surveying services on the main project and all of the enabling works projects. We had previously set up a framework with the Client to appoint a single contractor, as and when required, to carry out all of the enabling works. This ensured continuity of work and therefore a better price, together with the benefit of all parties attending one meeting covering numerous projects.

We also provided further services on the main project which were over and above a traditional Quantity Surveying service. The project was procured via a two-stage tender, which we advised on and co-ordinated with the Client. We prepared scoring matrices and attended contractor interviews so the appointment of the preferred contractor was on the basis of best value, not just cheapest price.

Our achievements

Large projects such as this can suffer a breakdown in relationships and there were some very difficult meetings held due to the project being delayed due to both design and contractor issues. Our main achievement throughout the project was to give a professional, balanced and reasonable view on all of the issues without becoming entrenched in an “us and them” attitude, which unfortunately occurred with many members of the project management, design and contractor teams.

We worked closely with the Client throughout to ensure that the delivery of this complex, phased project, was procured to give the best chance of success.

We became the confidant to the Client’s Project Manager in all aspects of the project, including challenges on fee claims made by other members of the design team.

Auburn Ainsley have been invited to many subsequent meetings with the Director of Finance, Trust Solicitor, and Expert Witness, to add our “professional, balanced and reasonable view” on specific issues related to other members of the team.


Ultimately, and in spite of the above issues, the project was delivered to a benchmarked cost that was lower than other similar projects. The Client therefore got value for money.

The project was formally opened by the Duke of Sussex in August 2019. During his visit The Duke also signed the visitors’ book in the main entrance of the new wing. The last Royal visit was on 29 November 1989 when Harry’s mum, Diana, Princess of Wales opened a previous extension to the hospital.

The project has won three awards – from Design Week, Building Better Healthcare and the Healthcare Estates IHEEM Award for Best New Build Project of The Year.

The Client is truly pleased with the project and that Auburn Ainsley were “in his corner” from start to finish, providing timely, professional, and consistent advice.