Inspectors from the Considerate Constructors’ Scheme (CCS) visit around 1,000 construction projects every month across the UK and judge them against eight criteria. The team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital were given straight nine out of ten scores in all categories, such as safety, environmental measures, considerateness, cleanliness, and attitude to neighbours.
Paul Thomas, the project manager for contractors BAM Construction, said: 'This is a very encouraging start to our work here for Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The inspection reflects the importance BAM attaches to how we work in partnership with the people around the project we build. We are working on more than 200 square metres of floor installing new rooms, theatres and services between the A&E department on the ground floor and the paediatric unit on the first floor, both of which are in use seven days a week, so our close liaison with the hospital staff is paramount.'
The detailed report reveals a few unusual but thoughtful touches by the BAM team: Neighbours’ views were taken into account to determine the working hours for the crane for example; residents and staff were invited to a cheese and wine evening at the start of the project so they had the chance to ask about the work in a relaxed atmosphere, and special traffic management and access plans have been formed to keep people safe and moving around the site. The Trust itself applied ‘frosted’ film to hospital windows where works can be seen.
The £39 million scheme to extend the hospital is located between Netherton Grove and Nightingale Place and includes four new operating theatres, a 12-bed high dependency unit and some refurbishment that involves BAM building over ambulance bays and an access route.
The CCS inspection report concludes: 'Competent considerate contracting at the highest level. Outstanding initiatives across the range of categories.'
'Good relations are important to us', adds Paul Thomas, 'because we have mainly residential neighbours and a main road with shops adjacent.'
Thankfully BAM is no stranger to building around complex hospital environments: it is the contractor at work at nearby Great Ormond Street Hospital. And it is no stranger to the area either, having delivered the highly regarded cocoon-shaped Darwin Centre for the Natural History Museum.
Work on the extension to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital is scheduled to complete next Christmas.