Work begins on £25m Lincolnshire hospital improvements

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) has announced it will be investing £25 million to improve facilities at Lincoln County, Pilgrim Hospital in Boston and Grantham and District Hospital.

Property and construction group Kier has been awarded the major contract, which forms part of the trust’s five-year estates strategy focused on modernising the hospitals.

Procured under the P21+ healthcare framework, Kier will deliver a programme of both minor and major works over the next year at the three hospitals. The contract is project managed by Capita Health Partners.

Work has already started on site at the hospitals and Kier is expected to complete the redevelopment by March 2016.

At Lincoln County, areas of the five-storey maternity wing will be modernised and two further wards will be refurbished with facilities for dementia patients, such as lighting that mirrors the natural daylight cycle outside.

There will also be extended car parking and improved street lighting around the hospital.

The maternity wing at Lincoln County Hospital. Photo: Joshua Potter for The Lincolnite

The maternity wing at Lincoln County Hospital. Photo: Joshua Potter for The Lincolnite

In February, building work began at the Lincoln County Hospital’s outpatients department, costing £580,000.

One of the scheme’s projects at Pilgrim Hospital is the development of a new multi-purpose clinical accommodation which will enable some of the maternity and gynaecology services to be moved out of their current accommodation and into the improved facilities. Kier will also renovate the site there.

At Grantham and District hospital, Kier will refurbish wards that are located in the tower block. There will also be a new boiler room at the hospital, which will help meet energy efficiency targets and reduce running costs.

Smaller works carried out by Kier will include further ward refurbishments, mechanical and electrical infrastructure, improved theatre ventilation, plus fire safety measures and roof repairs.

Paul Boocock, ULHT director of estates and facilities, said: “It’s an important step in transforming our clinical services and ensuring they are safe and sustainable for the 21st century.

“By modernising our buildings, we can better meet high quality clinical standards and also help become a more energy efficient organisation. Investing this money shows our commitment to the future of all three hospitals.

“Over the next year there will be some disruption to our hospitals which we will keep to a minimum and carry out work during evenings and weekends where possible. I would like to thank patients and staff for their support and patience during the work.”

Kier senior framework manager, Lewis Parker, added: “We have extensive experience in the delivery of healthcare schemes, having been awarded over 50 projects through the P21+ framework over the past four years, and we look forward to working collaboratively with the Trust to develop solutions that work for patients.”

Kier has established links in Lincolnshire. It is currently delivering the £20m Gateway student accommodation in Lincoln for Jackson & Jackson Developments, and began a new ten-year maintenance partnering contract with the City of Lincoln Council in 2013.

Financial concerns

The trust has recently been taken out of special measures, which lasted 20 months. Concerns remain however for the climbing deficit, with figures this year predicted to spill over the previous financial year’s shortfall of £25 million.

Cllr Mrs Christine Talbot, chairman of Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee, said: “I am surprised by United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust’s announcement.

“The Health Scrutiny Committee for Lincolnshire meets regularly with ULHT and there was no suggestion during any of the meetings we’ve had in the last year that this £25m investment could be on the cards.

“Investment in our hospitals is good news, but it does not seem to take into consideration the plans for a consultation into Lincolnshire’s health and care services, which is being prepared by the Lincolnshire Health and Care programme later this year.”