Premier Modular Covid-19 Test Centre Team Receives Award Commendation at Healthcare Industry Awards

The Premier Modular project team responsible for the fast-track rollout of Covid-19 testing sites across the UK, has been recognised with an award commendation at this year’s Building Better Healthcare Awards.

The team was highly commended in the Best Covid-19 Project Team Award category – a significant accolade. The NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter was also highly commended at the awards in the Best Covid-19 Building Design category. The awards were announced at an event in London attended by over 600 delegates.

Community testing sites were required nationwide to support the Government in rapidly increasing testing capacity in the Covid-19 pandemic to help safeguard public health.

Procured through Crown Commercial Service for the Department of Health and Social Care, Premier’s multi-million-pound contract was initially for 25 testing sites in the North of England. Following the team’s exceptional performance, this contract was increased to up to 50 sites and 37 were delivered across the UK, from Portsmouth to Inverness.

Commenting on the award commendation, Mark Rooney, Divisional Director for Premier’s Hire Division, said, “The Premier team and its supply chain made a phenomenal collective effort to support the Government’s Covid-19 testing programme by ensuring the shortest possible lead times for new, bespoke testing centres across the UK. This had an enormous, positive impact on health and care services in the pandemic.”

“The team succeeded in reducing site installation to just three days, including testing, commissioning, service connections, handover, and inductions. This compared to five days for other test site suppliers. Some city centre sites were very constrained and so required careful logistical planning to manage limited space, particularly during installation.”

“The facilities delivered by Premier also provided a comfortable environment for staff and patients and were felt to be superior to other options by the testing provider Sodexo.”

“When the buildings are no longer required, they will be returned to our factory in East Yorkshire for refurbishing and re-purposing for other projects – making this hire solution a highly sustainable option.”

Premier was modular building partner for the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter to principal contractor BAM Construct UK, and successfully delivered modular buildings spanning more than 1700sqm in just four weeks. The integrated buildings were supplied site-ready to accommodate essential facilities for the new hospital which was constructed in a re-purposed retail superstore. Designed by Stride Treglown, the facility is now being used to reduce waiting lists following the Covid-19 health crisis.

The geographical spread of the Covid-19 testing sites demanded exceptional logistical planning and detailed project management. The bespoke testing buildings were each manufactured to order. To help achieve this, Premier put in place an entire extra shift to work through the night at its modular factory in Brandesburton. This allowed it to achieve the record lead times required for this contract during the pandemic.

Premier brought together a range of highly committed suppliers to facilitate the installation of 2-3 sites per week. Lead times from site notification to handover were reduced to just a week – and even less than that on some sites.

Each standalone test site had a 110sqm purpose-designed testing building pre-fitted with eight patient cubicles, hygienic walls, separate staff entrance and exit, test collection, and drop off zones, and a family testing room.

Premier’s contract also included the supply of welfare facilities in three buildings to accommodate a PPE room, stores, test preparation, staff rest room, kitchenette, and toilets, as well as essential services – water supply, effluent collection, datacomms, alarm systems, and electricity generators.

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