• 9 July 2020

The blueprint for project speed: Jersey General Hospital Nightingale Wing

Delivered by J3 Ltd, a joint venture between local company Garenne Group, Sir Robert McAlpine and FES, the Jersey General Hospital Nightingale Wing was completed just four weeks after being given the green light. Designed by architects NBBJ, this was the only new facility built under the Nightingale scheme.

Key Facts
  • The new £14.4 million temporary hospital, built on Millbrook Playing Field in Jersey, Channel Islands, provides space for 180 beds for Coronavirus patients, who have access to acute, enhanced and ongoing levels of medical care, including oxygen provision.

    At 130 metres by 40 metres, the facility provides six wards, each with 30 beds, as well as areas for patient admissions and discharge, staff changing and rest, X-ray, equipment storage, laundry and a morgue.

Helping to complete this lightning-fast project, Waterman’s team worked round the clock to deliver the structural, foul drainage and foundation designs, also providing detailed geotechnical surveys for this six-ward, 180-bed facility.

Last week British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, released a statement urging the nation to ‘build, build, build’ also announcing a range of planning reforms to speed-up the process. In response to this, Richard Whitehead, Waterman’s Structures Director, believes Jersey General Hospital Nightingale Wing should be used to set the benchmark for the new breed of fast-paced developments.

Richard said: “The legacy of this incredible project should not only be viewed in healthcare terms. There are also significant lessons to be learned from the scheme in terms of how to fast-track the design, approvals, procurement and construction processes. This learning could be applied throughout the industry as we look to re-shape the way we plan and deliver projects, with Jersey’s Nightingale Wing becoming the blueprint for rapid project delivery.”

Site preparation for the scheme began Friday 10 April, with Waterman’s team receiving NBBJ’s first architectural sketches the night before and the agreed layouts on the same day at 6:50am. They worked round the clock through the Easter holidays and the following weeks to ensure the hospital was up and running on time – less than a month after the project was given the go-ahead.

Ruth Jeffs, Waterman’s Regional Director for Infrastructure and Environment, says: “Simplifying and rationalising the design was crucial to preparing for immediate construction and the design team then collaborated directly with the site team during construction. Combined with having appropriate inspectors on hand to sign off approvals during construction, this saved many weeks of design amendments as any issues were dealt with in real time. Working with an expert team for a common goal was hugely rewarding and has made us all feel proud to be involved and want to work collegiately in rapid delivery more often.”

Discussing how this approach could be implemented on other projects looking to minimise design and construction durations, Ruth says: “Establishing a knowledgeable team who are willing to listen and support each other, and who can de-risk the project quickly, is vital. This gives confidence to the contractor that the project is buildable, so elements can be constructed prior to full detailed design in the knowledge the overall scheme can be successfully delivered.”

Joe Smith, Waterman Structures Director says: “Jersey General Hospital Nightingale Wing was a breakthrough advancement in the delivery of a healthcare facility. It gave us a glimpse into the future of construction by delivering a truly flexible facility that is sustainable and easily adaptable for future technological advances and changes of use. It also emphasised the importance of using the latest design and collaboration tools to enable the development of rapid ‘just-in-time’ design solutions and vastly improved site logistics. We can now reflect on what has been achieved and share this knowledge with industry and the government, to equip them with the tools to successfully deliver the ambitious plan of works that lies ahead.“

For more information on the project, click here to visit The Government of Jersey’s dedicated Nightingale Wing webpage.

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