Killowen Contracts Ltd successfully tendered for the minor building works at Antrim Area Hospital Maternity Ward in April 2011. The scope of work included internal demolitions, reconfiguration of existing bed space, installation of new floor, wall and ceiling finishes, and associated mechanical and electrical services in the maternity ward which was maintained as a live patient area for the duration of the contract.
Due to the complexity of the site and requirement of the ward space to remain fully operational at all times the work was completed under a phased programme which included out of hours working and decant arrangements with existing patients. All works were fully coordinated in agreement with both estates management and ward staff in order to minimise disruption and ensure the health and safety of all patients.
Health and Safety (in this particular ward area) was of paramount importance as was infection control. Temporary dust screens, sealed at the joints, were erected at all times to prevent the spread of dust and dirt throughout the ward. Temporary damp matting was also put in place to reduce the movement of dust. All access routes were secured and clearly marked. Consideration was given to ensure all emergency escape routes were kept clear throughout the contract duration. All operatives were given an induction talk regarding access, egress and traffic flow.
The Maternity Ward was located on the first floor of the hospital therefore the programme of work had to be coordinated in unison with the workings of surrounding ward areas to ensure the isolation of critical services and temporary support systems were completed at agreed times. Permit to Work Systems were put in place to allow coring of structural holes and enable the installation of services. Additionally, the reduction of noise and vibration was essential in order to maintain patient care and minimise disruption to expectant mothers and new born babies.
Specialist equipment included the installation of a birthing pool, which was installed within a purpose built delivery room.
Success of the project was based on the working relationship developed between Killowen Contracts, Antrim Area Hospital Estates Management, Medical Staff and the Design Team, where a programme of work was agreed and managed to ensure the work could be completed as quickly as possible, without disrupting the operations of the live ward area, whilst providing a snag free standard of finish enabling immediate occupancy.