Leicester Children’s Hospital completes children’s heart services transfer

The £15m relocation of the East Midlands Congenital Heart Centre from Glenfield Hospital to its new city centre home at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI) has now completed.

National independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy, Pick Everard has worked in close cooperation with the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust to co locate children’s Congenital heart services in the region within a state-of-the-art setting.

The children’s congenital heart service department was previously centred at Glenfield Hospital but has been moved to be part of the larger Leicester Children’s Hospital within Leicester Royal Infirmary. The move is part of the enabling works for the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust plan to transform healthcare in Leicester after winning £450m from the government to build a maternity and children’s hospital.

The relocation has taken place over three phases of construction, with the first and largest element being a new-build extension to the Kensington Building to house the cardiac outpatient’s department, new cardiac theatre and new hybrid catheter lab. This extension is an innovative three-storey modular design including a basement level and is designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’ certification.

Pick Everard provided principal designer services for all works, and electrical and mechanical design services for the PICU and cardiac ward. These services were also provided for work on the Kensington Building infrastructure, including phased strip-out, refurbishment and replacement of various features. Our designs also provided new domestic hot and cold-water plant and risers to serve the new extension and new wards, as well as having capacity to serve any future wards that would be accommodated within the building.

Joshua Sandbach, project manager at Pick Everard, who was seconded to the client to provide internal support and ensure smooth delivery of the project, said: “We’re really proud to have facilitated such an important project, ensuring a high-spec central treatment centre for congenital heart services. Working within the client’s team has been a real key to the successful delivery of this project due to the pressures and unpredictability brought on by the pandemic and Brexit.

“There have, of course, been a number of challenging points, but we have now created a truly considerate facility that meets the users’ needs and exceeds their expectations.”

The second phase of work included a new cardiac ward situated on the first floor of the existing Kensington Building. This new ward has been designed with its end users in mind, considering the fact that many parents will wish to remain close to their children during treatment and hospital stays. To facilitate this, the design includes [four] of bedrooms for parent use to make their time at the hospital as comfortable and stress free as possible as well as the provision of fold down beds in patient side rooms.

The final phase of work saw the installation of the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU), brand-new to fifth floor of the Kensington Building.

As the new heart facility centres around the existing Kensington Building, it was necessary to relocate the services previously housed in this area of the hospital. In order achieve this, a compelling business case had to be created and Pick Everard consequently worked to refurbish two existing clinical areas on the LRI estate to re-house the maternity department and the gynaecology assessment and outpatients’ services.

Nigel Bond, deputy director of estates and facilities at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said: “The relocation of EMCHC to the LRI secures this fantastic service for the people of Leicester and the East Midlands area. It also represents the first phase of what will become a standalone Children’s Hospital on the site. The people of Leicester fought a hard campaign to retain the service in this region, they can be proud of what has been achieved.

“Having Josh from Pick Everard embedded in our delivery team has been a delight and a significant contribution to the quality of the outcome. He has worked tirelessly with the clinical team, my staff and the contractors to ensure we got the building this service needs and deserves.”

Adrian Ceney, partner at Pick Everard, said: “The importance of a healthy and supported start in life for children cannot be understated. We are really pleased to have delivered this particular project, which will provide that all-important start in life for those children born with health conditions, as well as ongoing support throughout their lives.

“Given that our head office is based in Leicester city centre, it is with tremendous pride that we have worked with our local NHS Trust to provide the highest quality of heart healthcare in the region, while also improving the environment that our healthcare heroes work within. We are confident that the new-look departments will serve their purpose for many years to come, and we look forward to seeing the services get up and running in the coming months.”

Alastair Hamilton, partner at Pick Everard, added: “We’re especially proud of the work we have delivered on this scheme, especially as the Leicester Hospital’s Charity is our head office’s charity of the year. Improving lives in our local region is incredibly important to us as a business, so we’re pleased to be supporting the charity, local health provision and the local business community, being an inaugural member of the charity’s business club, Friends of the Fox.”

All works have been delivered following a direct appointment via the NHS Shared Business Services framework, a vehicle that provides business support services to the NHS and public sector.