Electrical work in a hospital or healthcare environment is always high-risk. Read how we managed this risk and how we ensured the smooth continual operation of Dewsbury Hospital’s vital services.
Working with electrics in an operational hospital can prove to be quite a complex process; even a brief loss of light can have dramatic effects of the overall running of the hospital, potentially putting patient safety at risk. At Dewsbury Hospital we worked with staff and other contractors to ensure patient safety and keep the hospital fully operational during an electrical infrastructure upgrade.
Our involvement in the Ridings Building Medical Block and Service Centre is a continuation of our ongoing work with Dewsbury Hospital, which has seen us working on this site for almost two years. In this latest phase, we had to install a new mains board whilst maintaining the services of the existing electrical systems - preventing any drop in vital system operation. We countered this by bringing in temporary generators to keep the hospital running as normal and keeping backup generators on hand in preparation for any unexpected outage.
Working in such a delicate site, we knew that we wouldn’t be working 9-5 for most of the project so we changed the sequence of our works to suit the hospital’s operational requirements. All pre-work and planning was carried out beforehand during working hours but our changeover works were completed out of hours on weekends.
Specific to this part of the upgrade was the need to isolate a high voltage (HV) ring. Doing this safely meant communicating and working closely with the main subcontractor. Our engineers were on standby to control the generators and HV. Management were also on site to oversee the works.
Neil Swainston of Wilson Gray Consulting said: “BCS Electrics communicated thoroughly and effectively, not only through the presentation of progress reports at the regular site progress meetings, but also on a daily basis with the NHS Estates Department. The NHS Estates Department were directly involved with various aspects of the works and through the contract management provided by BCS Electrics the works were carried out efficiently and to programme.”
During the final stages of the project, we linked the new infrastructure into the existing building management system (BMS), as well as carrying out the testing and commissioning to ensure that the work fully complied with regulations. On completion, we demonstrated the new infrastructure to the hospital.
BCS has a wide portfolio of work when it comes to working in hospitals and health centres, we’re on the NHS Trust approved list of contractors. Following part success working with Dewsbury Hospital, we were able to submit a strong tender for the second stage and were awarded the contract.
We have a strong working relationship with main contractor, Wilson Gray Consulting, after completing various projects with them over the years. We believe that sustaining good relationships with large contractors is one of the main reasons why we often work with the same contractors again and again. Building these mutually beneficial and strong relationships between us and contractors ensures that we continue to provide quality service to our clients.
With thorough communication and cooperation with everyone involved, the project was completed without any delay or compromise to patient and staff safety.