Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool

A complex challenge for critical care

Work on the new, £35 million urgent care and trauma centre at the Aintree University Hospital, just outside Liverpool, is onto its final phase.

The project is transforming the hospital’s emergency and urgent care services, creating the most modern Emergency Department in the region and offering state-of-the-art facilities for patients.

Despite the scale of the programme, the hospital has to function efficiently and fully throughout the long build.

The ‘Sliding Tile’ approach

This has involved extensive enabling works: for instance, BAM created a new Post-Operative Critical Care Unit, ahead of the main works, in just 11 weeks.

BAM completed phase 1 in June 2015, demolishing part of the A&E facilities and constructing a larger section in the void. Phase 2 recently completed in summer 2016 has created facilities for a new ‘majors’, ‘minors’, trauma unit, step-down facilities, and an Acute Frailty Unit on the ground floor.

Phase 3 creates the new 24-bed Critical Care Unit.

BAM has had to re-house Ambulatory and Minors departments in temporary accommodation. The need to re-locate departments throughout the build programme because of the tight space available for construction was integral to the consultation the Trust and BAM set up, and the programme of works. Rob Bailey, BAM’s Contracts Manager, described the challenge as being like a ‘sliding tile puzzle.’

Project details

  • Customer: Aintree University Hospital
  • Architect: IBI Taylor Young
  • Project Management: Turner & Townsend

View related projects

85,000 Fact icon Patients treated in the hospital’s Emergency Department every year
11 Fact icon Weeks to create a new Post-Operative Critical Care Unit
3,500 m2 Fact icon Extra space will be added to the hospital

Aspiration and vision

“This is a very ambitious project,” admits Steve Warburton, the Hospital’s Chief Executive. “We are aiming to ensure that we offer world-class facilities that match the care our staff provide for the most seriously ill patients.”

The new development, completes in late 2016, includes a new two-storey building for the Emergency Department, Critical Care and Cardiology Departments, plus a Fracture Clinic.

The centre has a spacious, modern design, with comfortable waiting areas. The Emergency Department will also have more diagnostic equipment to help treat the most seriously ill patients faster.

Trend spotting: towards zero harm

One especially successful aspect of this project is the accident prevention mechanism. The BAM team is actively monitoring trends: tracking apparently small issues and ‘near misses’ that could indicate deeper problems.

For example, after a couple of cases where site operatives did not wear their safety gloves, it became clear that these were stored a long way from the working areas.

Simply moving the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to a more central location on the project made it easier for the workforce to access them, preventing possibly serious consequences.

At a recent site visit, senior members of the Hospital Trust Board praised the BAM team for this initiative, which closely matches incident prevention procedures used by clinical staff in the Hospital.

“It was interesting to find out that we monitor and improve safety in similar ways,” confirms BAM Project Manager, Rob Bailey.

Rooted in the community

Over the course of the project, the BAM team has also been building great connections with the local community:

  • Pupils at a nearby school decorated the hoardings around the site with their artwork related to healthcare
  • A group of students from another school also visited the site to find out about construction careers, hosted by a former pupil who is now BAM’s Design Manager on the project
  • Experienced local workers have been joined on site by interns and apprentices
  • BAM has been helping out at a local bluebell wood by building a new pathway