Since the first phase of the Cheshire & Merseyside Surgical Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital opened in late 2022 with two new surgical theatres, the hospital has treated an extra 3,000 elective surgery patients. In September 2022, with the new funding announced – including for the building of two further theatres as part of phase two, MTX began work on the extension before handing over the first phase – working on the two projects simultaneously. Phase 2 of the surgical hub was carefully designed as a two-storey extension to the first phase to ‘wrap round’ and integrate with it to make the two units a coherent single building.
The NHS-funded £25 million development harnessed Modern Methods of Construction. The theatres were created using modular structural units manufactured off site in a factory environment, and assembled to create the new facilities alongside the current theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital. This ensured that the centre was up and running fast.
Brandon Forsyth, who has been leading the MTX site team, explained: “We have worked hard to deliver this scheme in a shorter timescale than the previous Phase 1 scheme, even though it was a bigger building and more complex to build on site.”
Phase 1 of the surgical hub contained two new operating theatres, 12 patient recovery bays, and a plantroom incorporating air-handling units and electrical supply panels. The ground floor of Phase 2 includes the two additional theatres with ultraclean ventilation systems, utility rooms, ‘prep’ rooms, and anaesthetic rooms, plus six additional patient recovery areas, and storage and office space. On the first floor are a staff changing/training facility and a plantroom to serve the new facilities with power, ventilation, and other electrical and mechanical services.
Brandon Forsyth added: “Phase 2 had several connections into the Phase 1 live building. These had to be enabled and kept clinically sealed during works. This meant careful management and planning, working closely with the Trust’s clinical team to avoid impacting on the operations being undertaken every day just a few metres away.”
The pre-manufactured steel-framed building sections were craned onto the site alongside existing theatres at Clatterbridge Hospital and assembled by the MTX team, who installed exterior cladding, interior finishes, and floor screeds. The team then fitted out the theatre complex, including equipping the theatres, and installed all mechanical, electrical and plumbing elements, commissioning plant equipment areas containing air-handling units and electrical supply panels.
The site sub-structure was prepared while the building sections were being manufactured off site to precise specifications for greater efficiency, substantially reducing the programme and build duration.