University Hospital’s Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW) has announced its construction partner for a major range of estates improvements over several years.


The Trust, formerly UH Bristol, merged in April with Weston Area Health Trust to become UHBW – has set out an extensive range of improvements it plans to make to services, several of which require investment in estate management.

It has now appointed BAM Construction, based in Bristol, as its main contractor to work with it on the extensive improvement programme. BAM’s appointment falls under the Government’s Procure 22 capital framework for health projects.

BAM’s team of architects, engineers and construction professionals is now working with the Trust on its plans for several facilities including those for haematology, cancer and oncology, a cardiology research unit, and the contractor has now commenced on site for its first scheme, a Cath Lab facility which includes extending the Trust’s cardiology ward capacity with extensions to two existing wards. This aims to complete around September this year.

HBW’s Carly Palmer, Associate Director for Capital, said:

“Our five-year strategic and annual operational capital programmes will take in a wide range of construction schemes, from internal refurbishments, complex internal redesigns and new build developments. This is an integral part of our modernising our hospitals so that patients receive the benefit of cutting edge healthcare, centres of excellence across a wide range of specialist and increasingly personalised services.

“Our work with our construction partners is therefore of great importance, so selecting a partner that fully understands our needs and supports our approach is vitally important.”

Graham Kingdon, Construction Director for BAM, said:

“Despite being one of the world’s most modern construction groups, our pedigree in healthcare goes back over a century, and our understanding of this vital sector is extremely strong. Our philosophy has always been the same: you cannot succeed alone.

“No matter how much modern technology one uses, it is collaborative working with all the partners that allows you to listen properly to a complex and sensitive client like a hospital, and translate that across the designers and supply chain down to the last detail so that you deliver exactly what is needed.”

BAM and UHBW are now conducting a series of feasibility studies into further estates developments. These are examining emergency and urgent care. Although total investment will be dependent on what schemes ultimately progress, it is possible that it could exceed £100 million to deliver the full range of improvements that are being sought.

Dermot Parkinson, a veteran of several major healthcare schemes, is BAM’s lead for the UHBW schemes, He said:

“We are working now in a very constrained site with little space for storage and deliveries, and have to keep the hospital working of course while we are here. This means careful attention to such matters as access routes, which emphasises how important day-to-day understanding is across the project for us all. We are bringing our acknowledged experience and expertise to bear on this and have already established an excellent relationship with the Trust which will serve these critical schemes well.”

Among the range of professional partners who are engaged with the Trust’s schemes are Stretto, architects Stride Treglown, Avanti & BDP, WSP, Hoare Lea, Hulley & Kirkwood and QED. MEPH contractors engaged to date are T Clarke and Briggs & Forester.

BAM’s history in Bristol dates back to 1946, and it built its first hospital scheme in the city in 1963 – facilities for Bristol Children’s Hospital, followed by Bristol Radiotherapy centre in 1967 and the BRI’s Maternity Centre in 1971. It created an emergency hospital in Gloucester during the Second World War, plus many other hospitals in the south and South West of England, and in total has delivered over 400 UK healthcare schemes including a new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate.