Eastbourne District General Hospital

Eastbourne District General Hospital

East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

The Brief

  • Eastbourne District General Hospital is a respected local institution, in operation since 1976, which provides acute and community care services to the people of East Sussex.
  • They needed to reroof and restrengthen the boiler house roof, which had been suffering from leaks, as well as install a safety handrail and new access ladders around the roof’s perimeter.
  • The 20m chimney from the boiler house also needed painting, and the flues on top of the chimney needed cleaning and renewing. New aircraft warning lights needed installing on the top of the chimney.
  • Hawes Construction Group won this contract in a competitive tender against three other competitors, and were consequently able to work directly with the client as the main contractor.

Our Solution

  • Shortly after work on the boiler house started, the country went into the first national lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. All over the country, construction was suspended, and builders’ merchants were closed.
  • However, as this project was in service to the hospital, Hawes Construction Group was granted special dispensation by the NHS to continue the work, as key workers.
  • This meant that we had to quickly install an ‘oasis’ unit onsite, with a water supply and separate generator, so that our team were able to work completely independently of hospital staff and patients, ensuring the safety of all people on the hospital site.
  • Our first site manager had to self-isolate for family reasons, so another of our trusted managers stepped up to continue their work smoothly and seamlessly.
  • As a working hospital, the boilers had to keep running throughout, so we erected a watertight scaffold roof to ensure that no water would enter the boiler house and the workers below would be safe if it rained.
  • We used abseiling painters to access and refresh the tall chimney.
  • Hawes Construction Group were required to follow all the necessary health and safety procedures consistent with a working hospital, and had all the necessary accreditations to do so.

The Result

  • Despite the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, we were able to complete the project on time and on budget. All of our subcontractors were also able to work to the designated timescale.
  • The boilers were able to run continuously throughout, so the hospital saw no disruption, which was particularly important during the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The whole team pulled together during the challenging and uncertain times of the pandemic, to ensure that in the face of adversity we were able to complete the work safely.
  • We had zero cases of Covid-19 for the entire duration of the project.
  • With Hawes Construction Group managing the works, the client was very happy with the quality, progress and speed of the finished project.

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