Wexham Park Hospital is a large acute NHS hospital situated near Slough in Berkshire. The 588-bed hospital is one of three managed by Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust. As well as the main hospital building, the site has a large Post Graduate building, ambulance station, staff accommodation and a brand new state-of-the-art 9,300sq metre, four-storey Emergency Assessment Centre (EAC). The EAC, which is currently under construction and scheduled for completion by the end of 2018, will bring the hospital’s emergency department, ambulatory care and assessment units together under one roof.
In February 2018, following a competitive tender, Static Systems Group was awarded a major contract to undertake a phased upgrade of Wexham Park Hospital’s existing site-wide fire alarm in order to bring the system up to a category L1 open protocol system.
In addition to the upgrade, Static Systems was also tasked with installing fire alarm systems in the new Emergency Assessment Centre and Radiology & X-ray Department.
All upgrade work had to be undertaken in a live, fully occupied hospital environment and, at the time of installing the new systems, the Emergency Department and Radiology & X-ray Department were construction zones.
Static Systems has a long-standing relationship with Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and before the upgrade project commenced, was invited to take part in the early design and development discussions to explore options and identify how best to meet the Trust’s requirements. Static Systems surveyed the whole site before producing the design in conjunction with the Capital Projects team and the Trust’s Fire Safety Officer.
As Principal Contractor, Static Systems provided a site-based project management team and managed the entire design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of its Evo2 fire alarm panels and Apollo fire detection. In total, 15 wards were upgraded, with 14 fire alarm panels and 14 fire alarm repeater panels installed.
Greg Forsythe, Project Manager at Static Systems, comments: “We pride ourselves on our skills and expertise in working in challenging, live healthcare environments – it’s where we excel. This project required us to work across a host of different live settings, from Intensive Care, Sterile Services and Radiology, to the mortuary and canteen. Our primary focus is delivering a seamless installation with minimal disruption to the everyday workings of the clinical teams. As such, we introduced a robust process for communicating information about the works to all relevant parties through the Capital Projects team, providing five working days’ notice of our intent to work in each area of the hospital.
“As Principal Contractor, it’s essential for us to have an on-site project management team which, on this project consisted of a Project Manager, a Commissioning Engineer and an Installing Supervisor, as well as additional office based project support. Our expertise and the fact that we were always on hand to offer advice when required helped to ensure a very successful upgrade. We’ve already had feedback from clinical staff and others within the Trust praising our team of engineers.”
Geoff Irish, Senior Project Manager at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, adds: “We had no hesitation in appointing Static Systems as our Principal Contractor for this project. Static has worked in the industry for over 35 years and we have been consistently impressed with their turnkey approach, from design and product offering through to installation and aftersales support. Having Greg as our dedicated Project Manager, along with the rest of the on-site project team, has made the whole process very straightforward and seamless.
“It was also vital that we appointed a trusted contractor that was highly experienced in working in a live hospital environment – which Static Systems is. We were particularly pleased with the support received from the office and sales team, which gave us the confidence to move forward with the project. Their service, products, expertise and project management are excellent and all of the work undertaken to date has been completed on time and within budget.”
Work is still underway at Wexham Park Hospital, with further extensions to the system planned for later this year. By the end of the eight month phased project Static Systems will have completed a full fire alarm system replacement.