Morgan Sindall Construction Appointed to Develop Milton Keynes University Hospital’s New Ward Expansion

Morgan Sindall Construction’s Northern Home Counties business has been appointed to develop a £19.1 m ward expansion on behalf of the Milton Keynes University Hospital (MKUH) NHS Foundation Trust.

An architect's impression of Oak Wards at Milton Keynes University Hospital. Image Credit: Morgan Sindall Construction

Procured via the Pagabo Framework, the project will create a new two-storey building known as Oak Wards as well as a link corridor to the existing A&E department in MKUH’s main building.

These upgrades will enable the site to provide healthcare services to more people at a faster rate, helping meet the increased healthcare demands of Milton Keynes’ growing population. The project, the second that Morgan Sindall is currently delivering for the MKUH NHS Foundation Trust, is due to start on site in Q4 2024 and will be completed in late 2025.

The new Oak Wards facility will increase MKUH’s ward capacity by providing two 24-bed wards, four of which will be five-bed bays and four will be single bedrooms, alongside ancillary space for storage, utility rooms, offices, a ward kitchen and staff areas.

Both storeys’ will be laid out in a rectangular floor plan with a central nurse’s station and large bay windows to maximise the amount of natural light. This efficient floor plan mirrors an existing ward at the hospital and so will be familiar to staff from day one.

Morgan Sindall’s Intelligent Solutions approach to construction was utilised during the project’s design stage to overcome potential challenges and ensure the new building provides a sustainable, high quality healthcare facility that aligns with the NHS’ net zero carbon goals.

Key sustainability features include air source heat pumps on the roof to supply power to the new ward building, while the façade, building services, and insulation have been designed to exceed the current requirements for efficiency and thermal performance. A concrete frame will also be used instead of a steel one, providing opportunities to reduce embodied carbon levels.

Sustainable drainage and water management systems on the ground floor, including swales and a rain garden, will allow rainwater to naturally drain away. Externally, Morgan Sindall will conduct landscaping designed to achieve a 10 per cent biodiversity net gain, through planting new trees and wildflowers as well as installing habitats such as bat boxes and insect hotels.

Due to the new developments' proximity to existing buildings, daily operations will be closely monitored and scheduled to avoid disruption to the hospital’s vital functions. These measures will be crucial when creating the link adjacent to MKUH’s Emergency Department (ED), an important vein of the hospital’s daily activities.

MKUH also has a helipad, with a flight path that crosses over the site. To ensure the helicopter can remain active, crane lifts and other planned works will be conducted in coordination with the flight authorities.

Morgan Sindall has been collaborating with the MKUH NHS Foundation Trust since the project was at RIBA stage 2. Being involved from this point enabled the tier one contractor to provide its expertise and advise on design as well as budget considerations at an early stage, which has helped ensure the outcome will meet the Trust’s requirements.

Morgan Sindall is also working with the MKUH Foundation Trust on a new radiotherapy centre which will house two state-of-art medical linear accelerator (LINAC) bunkers. Due to open in Summer 2024, this facility will include a main reception, CT suite, and consulting rooms as well as soft landscaping with 33 trees to externally tie into the hospital’s existing Cancer Centre.

Emma Curtis, Morgan Sindall Construction’s Northern Home Counties Area Director, said: The ward expansion at Milton Keynes University Hospital will play a vital role in increasing the facility’s capacity. With Milton Keynes’ population increasing by more than 15% between 2011 and 2021, it’s important that we invest and upscale the city’s healthcare infrastructure to ensure that it is able to meet current and future challenges.

“While the development has posed several operational, logistical, and environmental questions, through our close collaboration with MKUH NHS Foundation Trust, we’ve designed a route forward that will result in a high-end and sustainable new ward. We’re looking forward to building on our relationship with the Trust, which has been established over the course of multiple projects, including a new radiotherapy centre that we’re currently constructing.”

Joe Harrison, Chief Executive at MKUH, said: "We are delighted to announce the next steps in our Oak Wards development. This new facility will play a pivotal role in developing our hospital estate to meet the acute care needs of the growing city of Milton Keynes.

“Through our established relationship with Morgan Sindall with projects such as our new Radiotherapy Centre, we are looking forward to the development of another successful facility that will improve services for both our patients and our staff."


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