Just months after signing a deal to construct the UK’s biggest hospital to date under PFI, Skanska has handed over the third completed section, a computer centre for the new hospital’s IT equipment.
It is one element of Skanska’s five-year programme to design and build a state-of-the-art 1212–bed acute hospital, clinical sciences teaching facility and mental health unit on the site of Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry. It is for the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trusts, the first PFI deal to involve two NHS Trusts.
The new IT facility took eight weeks to build using the latest modular, factory engineered construction techniques alongside network expertise from Skanska Konnect to install the infrastructure and relocate connections from existing IT facilities at Walsgrave Hospital. Skanska will now construct a Mental Health Unit on the site of the previous IT building.
The previous two buildings handed over, the Oncology Day Centre and New Centre for Reproductive Medicine, were completed before the end of last year. As the new hospital is handed over in phases, services in the adjacent Walsgrave Hospital are transferred and the hospital demolished in sections.
The project is the most groundbreaking in PFI yet. It was the largest to be signed in 2002 and includes the first Retention of Employment agreement, allowing soft FM staff to remain in the NHS when the hospital is operational.