Major building projects take shape

Two major building projects at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust are on track to take their first patients as early as June, 2020.

Construction work on the £14m 100-bed new ward block and the £7m Interventional Radiology Unit (IRU) have been progressing, with IRU project manager Ray McFee, and new ward block manager Steve McIntosh confirming that patients will be admitted to both during the month of June.

Specialist equipment for the two projects has started to arrive including a Siemens Artis Pheno, a cutting edge robotic imaging system, as well as an Artis Q imaging systems in the IRU, with a further Artis Pheno and Artis Q arriving in the coming weeks.

In the IRU Artis Pheno and an Artis Q imaging systems will allow the team to extend the wide variety of procedures already performed there. Once opened, the IRU at the NNUH will be the only place in the UK to have four suites as well a fully kitted out 16-bed recovery unit.

Despite the disruptions as a result of COVID-19, the project has continued while implementing all the government advice on keep the workers safe. From the start of April, the final stage of installing the lifts for the unit began.

The unit will have a significant part to play in reducing patient waiting times as the innovative technology and increased capacity will help staff better manage the dual demands of emergencies and elective procedures more effectively.

The unit will also become a national beacon of excellence, recognised for its innovative technology, processes and techniques.

Dave Pechey, IRU Service Lead said: “The Interventional team are excited to see the building develop and are keenly anticipating the day that they can move in. Alongside patient groups, key members of the unit have helped select the artist who is creating new works of art which will be integral to a welcoming and positive environment for patients and staff alike.

Also addressing capacity and demand issues, the new three-storey ward block, will see high-dependency patients, being treated on a new 25-bed high dependency unit on the third floor. This is a newly assigned area with the first and second floors earmarked for AMU and stroke patients.

In recent weeks staff who have had direct input into the design of the projects were given a special behind the scenes tour to see how their project was progressing.

Acute Medical Unit matron Marie Hodge said: “This is absolutely amazing and is going to make such a difference to our patients. It is really good to see how our ideas and suggestions have been taken on board and formed part of the actual development.”

Jon Harrowven, divisional operations manager, said: “This is really exciting. It is a fantastic development and I believe we are delivering exactly what our patients need. We put ourselves in our patients’ shoes to really think about what they needed. This is very much a facility for the future.”

Chris Cobb, NNUH Chief Operating Officer said: “It is good to see the new ward block and the IRU are progressing, despite so many challenges. This shows how responsive we have been to the ever-changing situation and I would like to thank everyone involved in these projects, who is working above and beyond to complete them.”


Film- maker Jason Horne has created a timelapse video of progress to date. View the video here:


Wednesday 29th of April 2020 10:28:15 AM