NHS Highland

Graham Construction hands over phase one of Raigmore Hospital upgrade to NHS Highland

(left to right) Pat O’Hare – contracts director , Graham Construction; Doreen Bell – lead clinical adviser, NHS Highland; Mark Smith, senior project manager , Graham Construction.

Graham Construction has handed over the first phase of the £28m Raigmore Hospital Critical Services Upgrade (CSU) to NHS Highland.

The new ward areas for acute medical assessment, medical high dependency, surgical high dependency and intensive care are complete and plans are in place for patients, staff and equipment to move into their respective areas during June and the beginning of July.

The original building at Raigmore was constructed in the 1980s and is being transformed with a major refurbishment to meet modern healthcare standards and requirements, the single biggest investment the Inverness hospital has had since it was built.

Graham Construction was appointed main contractor to refurbish the critical care and theatre suites at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

Phase two of the works, which is well underway, sees Graham redevelop and upgrade operating theatres at the hospital, which services the population of the Highlands (NHS Highland) as well as Moray (NHS Grampian) and the Western Isles (NHS Western Isles).

Pat O’Hare, Contracts Director at Graham Construction, said: “We have worked closely in partnership with our colleagues at NHS Highland to successfully deliver this state-of-the-art facility, which is critical to the healthcare needs of the Highlands.

“Graham Construction has significant experience in delivering modern healthcare facilities throughout Scotland, and we look forward to the successful completion of phase two of this important project.”

Kevin Minnock, project director for capital projects at NHS Highland, said: “NHS Highland is delighted to accept handover of Phase B of the CSU Project from our Framework partner Graham Construction.

“This phase of the project represents a key milestone in the overall delivery of the £28m Critical Services Upgrade here at Raigmore. The new department of critical care offers a first-class modern environment for staff to deliver high quality critical care services for the patients of North of Scotland.

“I would like to offer thanks to our contractor Graham, their supply chain members and the NHS Highland project delivery team for their dedication and effort in delivering this complex and challenging project. The unit should be fully operational in early July 2018.”

The Raigmore project is being delivered under the FS2 Framework which is providing design, development and construction projects across Scotland for the NHS.

Graham Construction is has been involved in a number of these projects, including the Baird & Anchor Family Hospital in Aberdeen (NHS Grampian), Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit (IPCU) in Stratheden Hospital, Fife (NHS Fife) and work at Monklands Hospital, Theatre/ITU upgrade in Lanarkshire (NHS Lanarkshire).

Approval for five-year vision for 6,000 new Highland homes

Inverness is regarded as a high priority area for the new homes

Inverness is regarded as a high priority area for the new homes

A five-year strategy to enable the delivery of 6,000 new homes across the Highlands, of which 2,500 will be socially rented, has been agreed by councillors.

Members of The Highland Council’s people committee have approved the council’s Local Housing Strategy for 2017 – 2022, which has indicated that 45% of the new homes will be required as a high priority in Inverness and the surrounding area.

Other communities that have also been identified in the strategy as a high priority for housing development include: Aviemore, Wick and Thurso; Fort William; Nairn; Dingwall; Ullapool and Gairloch; Portree, Boradford, Plockton and Dornie; and Dornoch, Clashmore and Embo.

Councillor Alasdair Christie, who chairs the council’s people committee, said: “I welcome this strategy which will help to deliver the council’s Programme priorities to provide homes across the Highlands so that both young and old have a secure roof over their heads; that the council and its partners will aim to build 500 new affordable homes every year for the next five years; and improve the quality and condition of the housing stock and minimise fuel poverty.”

He added: “Members have scrutinised the draft strategy and we are now confident that as a living and working document it is fit for purpose to deliver the council’s housing priorities.”

The Highland Housing Strategy sets out the council’s vision for housing over the next five years and what the council will do to:

  • increase the supply of homes in Highland so that there are enough houses in the right places to meet housing needs;
  • contribute to the effective integration of health and social care so that housing design and delivery of housing and housing-related services meet the changing needs of individuals;
  • prevent and respond to homelessness and make sure people have the right help to let them make decisions on their housing options; and
  • improve the condition of housing and minimise fuel poverty to improve the quality, comfort and affordability of homes.

Peer review feedback from the Scottish Government was taken into consideration on the draft strategy along with comments from a public consultation held this summer.

The council also consulted widely on the Highland Local Development Plan and the main issues for Local Housing Strategy in a series of public events during September to November 2015.

The strategy has been developed collaboratively through the Highland Housing Strategy Group which includes the council’s Planning, Development and Housing Services; registered social landlords; developers; Cairngorms National Park Authority; and NHS Highland.

NHS Highland confirms timetable for Belford Hospital replacement

Belford HospitalConstruction of a replacement for Belford Hospital in Lochaber is due to get underway in 2020/21, NHS Highland has confirmed.

Indicative funding for the new hospital was included within NHS Highland’s five year capital plan published in March 2017 and will be part of a wider redesign of health and social care services in Lochaber.

Work is underway to prepare an Initial Agreement which will set out the strategic case for the redesign including an outline of the services to be provided. The work is being overseen by a Steering Group which includes local clinical staff, members of the community and elected representatives.

Dr Brian Tregaskis clinical lead for the Belford Hospital and who sits on the steering group, said: “I am pleased that the work to progress the new hospital is underway.  We have excellent and committed staff who are constantly innovating to provide first class quality of care for local people and our many visitors.  Now what we need is a first class facility to match the care we provide

“We are exploring a range of options to provide care both in the hospital and in the community.  The future will see an increase in care provided at home and if people do need to come into hospital it will be for shorter lengths of time.

“There will be inpatient beds, 24/7 medical and nursing cover, A&E, operating theatre, surgery, outpatients, renal and maternity services.  What we are working on is the detail to support making decisions on, for instance, how many beds the hospital requires.”

Highland Council bought land in Fort William at Blar Mhor from Tesco for £2 million in October 2015 and made it available for a new hospital.

Working in collaboration with NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, West Highland College UHI and the Scottish Government, the council acted in an enabling role in securing this strategic site for a new hospital and potentially a new science academy for the West Highland College.

Balfour Beatty appointed tier 1 contractor for Highland hospitals

Maxim 7 Balfour Beatty 1hub North Scotland has appointed Balfour Beatty as the main ‘tier 1’ contractor for NHS Highland’s proposed new hospitals in Aviemore and Broadford.

The announcements follow other recent key milestones for the new hospitals with the appointment of the design team and the submission of the pre-planning applications.

As a ‘tier 1’ supplier for hub North Scotland, Balfour Beatty International (North Scotland) will work alongside the project’s design consultants – architectural firms Oberlanders based in Edinburgh and Portree-based Rural Design – who were appointed in June, in conjunction with engineering design firms Waterman Group and Rybka.

The hospitals for Badenoch and Strathspey and for Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross are being produced by hub North Scotland as part of a £30 million design, build, finance and maintain contract for NHS Highland which will see both projects ‘bundled’ to deliver best value.

NHS Highland’s head of estates, Eric Green, said: “NHS Highland is delighted to be working with Balfour Beatty on these exciting projects. We look forward to delivering high-quality facilities that the communities of Badenoch and Strathspey and Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross can be proud of.

“Balfour Beatty have shown a desire to engage communities proactively to ensure that we can maximise the local benefits of these substantial investments during construction and through to operations.”

NHS Highland’s deputy directions of operations for the health board’s Inner Moray Firth operational unit, Georgia Haire, said: “The appointment of Balfour Beatty as the main contractor is another milestone in this project for the Badenoch and Strathspey community.

“Design work for the new Community Hospital is underway, with initial design ideas on display at a public drop in event on Thursday, 5th September. This event is being held in the Aviemore Community centre from 3.30pm-7.30pm and technical representatives will be on hand to answer any queries.”

hub North Scotland’s chief executive, Michael Padzinski, added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with NHS Highland to develop and deliver these important new facilities for the communities they serve.”

Both hospitals form part of wider redesigns across Badenoch and Strathspey and in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross. In Badenoch and Strathspey, the redesign will see the eventual closures of Ian Charles Community Hospital in Grantown-on-Spey and St Vincent’s Hospital in Kingussie.

Meanwhile, the arrangements on Skye will see a new, modern integrated health and social care ‘hub’ in Broadford and a ‘spoke’ facility in Portree with all the inpatient services provided from the ‘hub’.

Health and housing experts team up to create sustainable homes of the future

Image courtesy of Scene-it Media

Image courtesy of Scene-it Media

Experts in housing, healthcare and home-design from across the Highlands have come together to form a unique partnership to build sustainable homes for people with assisted living needs.

Led by NHS Highland, Albyn Housing Society and Carbon Dynamic, its aim is to create highly adaptable homes which can support people to live independently in their homes for longer through technology and remote monitoring by social care agencies.

The project is said to be the first of its kind in the UK and will take input from a wide variety of stakeholders including patients and public service providers.

As part of this process, the partnership held its first interactive co-design session at Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s new headquarters on UHI Inverness campus on Friday.

“In order to source feedback from a whole range of multi-professional health and care staff, we have used the very latest technology to create a virtual reality model, helping users to experience the built environment in an innovative way,” said Professor Angus Watson, NHS Highland’s director of research, development and innovation. “We are excited about this first interactive co-design session, which will enable people to drop-in and find out more about this innovative project.”

Lucy Fraser, head of innovation at Albyn Housing Society, added: “The central concept of the homes is that they will include ambient, physiological and building sensors to collect data that can be monitored and responded to by a variety of agencies – potentially transforming the way health and social care is delivered.

“The collaboration includes potential residents, doctors, nurses, therapists, health and social care managers, technologists, enterprise executives – anyone who can offer experience, expertise and insight to ensure this project results in a sustainable and successful model for the future.”

The first building phase at Dalmore, Alness, is set to get underway in August, and will include 14 new homes and two community spaces. A further 32 houses, including homes for veterans, will be built in Inverness.

The innovative homes are constructed off-site by Carbon Dynamic and delivered to their location 90 per cent complete.

Carbon Dynamic’s founder and chief executive, Matt Stevenson, said: “This project has enabled us to harness our advanced in-house design package and agility to engage with the co-design process to participate in an exciting new way of putting the user need at the core of the developmental processes.

“The virtual reality model is a fantastic asset through which to explore co-design, ensuring the end product is an invaluable solution to a universal need and growing challenge.”

Inverness hospital set for £28m upgrade investment

Raigmore_Hospital,_InvernessA new operating theatre is to be built at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness as part of a three-year £28 million investment.

The Scottish Government has approved the full business case submitted by NHS Highland earlier this month.

The Critical Care Upgrade will bring all critical care services, which includes the Acute Medical Assessment Unit, the Intensive Care Unit, Surgical High Dependency Unit, theatre and the admissions area, into one area over two floors.

The operating theatres at the hospital will be refurbished and an additional theatre will be added to bring the total number of theatres in this area to 10, seven of which will be equipped with specialist laminar air flow, ensuring the air within the theatre environment is at the cleanest possible standard.

The work, which will be carried out by Graham Construction, will start in April this year and, while a construction programme is yet to be finalised, completion is expected at the end of 2018.

Ron Coggins, clinical director for surgical and anaesthetics division at Raigmore Hospital, said: “This investment will not only greatly improve the facilities but also provides an opportunity to co-locate wards and ensure that first-class healthcare can be delivered in modern facilities for years to come.

“Having critical care services over the two floors will not only allow best use of space and staff but it will also improve patient flow in the hospital and the privacy and dignity of our patients.”

The original building at Raigmore Hospital, which services the population of the Highlands as well as Moray and the Western Isles for some specialities, was constructed in 1980.

A number of improvement works have already been carried out including refurbishment of some of the wards and the provision of a new, state-of-the-art endoscopy unit.

Linda Kirkland, director of operations for NHS Highland’s Inner Moray Firth Operational Unit, said: “This is fantastic news for everyone associated with the hospital and for everyone who uses it now and will be using it in years to come.

“A lot of hard work and long hours have gone into making this idea a reality. This is the biggest investment in the hospital since it was built and will really transform the facility. I’m looking forward to seeing it progress.”

Health secretary Shona Robison added: “I welcome this investment in critical care services at Raigmore which will significantly improve the facilities at the hospital.

“Bringing together the hospital’s critical care services will benefit patients and improve patient flow through the hospital.”

The investment comes over and above the £29m funding NHS Highland has already secured in principle from the Scottish Government for proposed new hospitals in Aviemore and Broadford on Skye, as part of a wider redesign of health and social care services.

Highland Council buys Tesco land for new Fort William hospital

highland councilThe Highland Council has moved quickly to purchase land surplus to Tesco’s requirements in Fort William for £2 million to make provision for a new hospital for NHS Highland.

The council was requested in May 2015 to take the lead by its community planning partners to secure the Tesco site at Blar Mor as a replacement site for the existing Belford Hospital in Fort William. Tesco were selling the eight acre site as part of its portfolio of surplus sites and had set an imminent closing date.

Working in collaboration with NHS Highland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), West Highland College UHI and the Scottish Government, the Highland Council acted in an enabling role in securing this strategic site for a new hospital and potentially a new science academy for the West Highland college.

Following detailed negotiations and due diligence by the council, formal missives have now been concluded to purchase the site from Tesco for £2m.

As part of the deal, once funding is in place to build the new hospital, NHS Highland will transfer the existing hospital site to the council to deliver affordable housing in the centre of Fort William.

NHS Highland and West Highland College will now work with the council to take forward proposals for the site, which will deliver the new hospital and other uses.

Chair of planning and development at the local authority, Cllr Audrey Sinclair, said: “This is a tremendous and long awaited success for the Lochaber area. It is a good example of partners working together to achieve success. The deal will enable the area to flourish with the prospect of a new much needed hospital and additional facilities for the West Highland College.

“I would like to add recognition for former Council Leader Michael Foxley who was a significant force behind this project and worked to get Scottish Government support to make this happen.”

Tesco said it was pleased at selling the land.

A spokesman said: “Since we took the difficult decision not to build a new store, we have been actively seeking a purchaser.

“We have concluded a deal which will hopefully benefit the local community in Fort William, bringing the land to economic use and building new community assets.”

Minister approves new hospital for Skye and Lochalsh

Broadford Hospital will be developed as a hub facility

Broadford Hospital will be developed as a hub facility

NHS Highland’s plan for a new hospital on Skye has been approved by health secretary Shona Robison.

The go-ahead will mean the construction of a new hospital (known as a ‘hub’ facility) in Broadford and the provision of a ‘spoke’ facility in Portree.

The new set up will serve patients on the island and also Lochalsh on the mainland.

What goes in the ‘hub’ will depend on the future shape of community services, which will influence, for instance, the number of beds that will be required. Also to be considered are any other facilities and services which might be required at the new site, such as laundry, catering, car parking and so on. As well as the clinical workshops, NHS Highland has still to complete the site selection and will have to work on design statements.

All this work will take place over the next few months and will feed into the production of what is known as an ‘initial agreement’ document, which is a requirement of the process. This will go before the NHS Highland board probably in August. NHS Highland will then be required to prepare an outline business case and then a full business case.  This will see more detail, including costs, being defined.

Islanders in the north of the Skye campaigned last year to have Portree developed as the main site.

They said that they may seek a judicial review of the consultation process into the site for the new hospital.

NHS Highland has defended the options appraisal carried out by a steering group.

The Scottish Health Council has also said the process was legitimate.

The decision was welcomed by NHS Highland chair Garry Coutts, who said: “This is fantastic news. We now look forward to continuing to work with the community in the detailed planning of health and social care provision that best meets the needs of everyone in the area.

“I appreciate that our proposals have not been universally welcomed but I hope that, with the cabinet secretary having granted her consent, the entire community of Skye, Lochalsh & South West Ross can work together to help us transform our services there.”

Ministers give green light to £12m Highland hospital

Shona Robison

Shona Robison

Cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing Shona Robison has approved NHS Highland’s “exciting proposals” for the modernisation of its community and hospital services in Badenoch and Strathspey.

The go-ahead will mean the construction of a new £12 million community hospital and resource centre in Aviemore, and the eventual closure of the Ian Charles Hospital in Grantown-on-Spey and the St Vincent’s Hospital in Kingussie.

As well as a new hospital and resource centre, the decision will mean the expansion of care-at-home and community services, which will support the further integration of health and social care – something which Ms Robison said in a letter to NHS Highland chair Mr Coutts that she considered to be a “vital component” of the plans.

Aviemore Health Centre and the Glen Day Centre in Aviemore will be relocated to the new facility.

Speaking on the proposals, Ms Robison said: “The Scottish Government is committed to providing modern, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in which to provide the high-quality care patients rightly expect.

“These proposals will bring new, modern facilities to the area and I look forward to the board taking them forward in close consultation with the people of Badenoch and Strathspey.”

With approval having been granted, detailed planning for the new services and facilities will now get under way in earnest with a view to preparing the formal business case necessary in such projects. Work will include determining the specification for the new building and purchase of the site, in Aviemore’s Technology Park, in the town centre.

It is hoped that construction will start around summer 2017, with a view to possible occupation of the new facilities in December the following year.

Mr Coutts said: “We have had tremendous input from the people of Badenoch and Strathspey throughout this process and we will continue to involve them as we work on writing a new chapter in the provision of health and social care in the area.”