Perfect Circle’s founding partner supports accelerated delivery of Welsh hospital
The first major hospital to be built in Wales in more than two decades will open to patients four months ahead of schedule – thanks to support from consultants Gleeds, one of Perfect Circle’s shareholders and founding partners.
The opening of the £350m Grange University Hospital, in Llanfrechfa, near Cwmbran, was due to happen next spring, but has been brought forward to mid-November.
The early opening of the 55,000m2 purpose-built facility has been made possible as building work was accelerated earlier this year to allow the site to be used as a field hospital in the event of a surge in demand for beds at the height of the first wave of coronavirus.
Contingency plans were put in place to bring the construction programme forward, creating 384 bed spaces in just four weeks as part of the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s preparation to tackle COVID-19 in Wales.
The extra beds were, ultimately, not needed, but it did mean that the project was ahead of schedule, meaning completion before the end of autumn was possible.
“The Grange University Hospital will provide an environment that’s more fitting for a modern way of delivering healthcare and I would like to extend my congratulations to Gleeds, one of our shareholders and founding partners, for its support on delivering such a vital project four months ahead of schedule in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.”
Victoria Brambini, managing director of Perfect Circle
The Grange University Hospital will provide several specialist services including 471 inpatient beds, 11 theatres, two MRI scanners, an emergency department, neonatal intensive care unit, special care baby unit, labour/delivery department, and a separate energy centre.
Gleeds, which has been providing project and cost management services to the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board for many years, developed the business case for the new hospital.
UK Head of Healthcare Victoria Head said: “Since its inception, The Grange University Hospital project has always had a true collaborative ethos at its heart – working together for a shared goal, and we’ve stuck to that, proudly tackling every challenge to complete the hospital in record time by adopting a solution-based approach.”
One of the key drivers to the success of the project, which has a BREEAM Excellent rating, was the use of modern methods of construction (MMC), particularly Gleeds’ recommendation to the client regarding the use of off-site manufacturing for facades, M&E services and bathroom pods.
Victoria Head said: “Through this application, we were able to reduce the programme duration, costs, labour requirement, and also health and safety risks, while increasing the quality of workmanship.
"In terms of the programme, significant savings have been achieved through the use of MMC, with a 23% reduction in programme duration. Fundamentally, with the best will in the world, had this been a traditional build with the same start date, we would not have been in a position to offer support to this national pandemic and the NHS.”
A second key driver to the project’s success was the collaborative environment created through mutual trust and cooperation across all involved parties.
Victoria Head said: “Our aim from the onset was to fully adopt the ethos of the NEC contract and work in a collaborative and supportive environment.
“Cultural changes were needed from all parties, but through team building exercises, shared objectives and an understanding of each party’s drivers for success, we created a team that has truly worked together to solve issues, supported each other through problems and always remembered the end goal of providing a high-quality hospital for the NHS.
“Demonstration of this collaborative behaviour was evidenced in our support through the COVID-19 pandemic, where we were able to provide the board and the NHS with vital bed capacity early on, which was made possible through our adoption of MMC and the strong relationships built over many years of working together.”