The project

The Nightingale Hospitals Initiative was an emergency response by the UK government and the NHS to establish temporary high-care facilities to accommodate the anticipated COVID-19 infection peak in the UK. Harrogate Convention Centre was selected to house the high-care facility. The NHS managed the project together with the British Army to complete the conversion work within 14 days.

Construction crews, designers and staff worked extensively and continuously to expedite the centre’s transformation into care facilities that could accommodate over 450 high-care, level-3 critical care beds. The design and construction prioritised a segregated infection control regime to ensure a secure and controlled environment.

Our contribution

As integral members of BAM Construction’s team for the Nightingale project, we assumed the role of mechanical and electrical engineering specialists. Our teams focused on hospital design, commissioning and validation. Responding promptly to the urgent need, we conducted feasibility and detailed site surveys and completed all engineering designs. The comprehensive scope of our work involved designing and engineering various halls, encompassing donning/doffing areas, a mortuary, controlled medical stores, sluices, liquid oxygen and vacuum insulated evaporator systems, med-compressed air facilities, med-vacuum set-ups and 490 high-dependency bed heads. Additionally, we validated and commissioned work to ensure the seamless integration and functionality of specialist hospital systems.

Added value

The project required responding very quickly and working continuously to meet emergency deadlines to create a high-care field hospital without compromising healthcare standards and design guides. It was necessary to think flexibly to adapt the current systems to suit the needs of a fully functioning hospital and to work creatively and collaborate with all other construction professionals to create an operational hospital in under three weeks.

Silcock Leedham projects - Nightingale Hospital Harrogate - image 2
Silcock Leedham projects - Nightingale Hospital Harrogate - image 3
Silcock Leedham projects - Nightingale Hospital Harrogate - image 4
Silcock Leedham projects - Nightingale Hospital Harrogate - featured image