Premier Modular delivers PET-CT diagnostic facility at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Premier Modular, one of the UK’s leading offsite specialists, has delivered a new, purpose-designed modular PET-CT scanning facility for Alliance Medical at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The new building was built offsite and is now operational and serving the local community.

Alliance Medical, one of Europe’s leading providers of imaging services, was awarded a national PET-CT contract by NHS England under the Wave 1 PET-CT procurement to deliver PET-CT scanning across 30 locations in England. Alliance Medical was assisted by Lee Wakemans Management who provided project management services.

The new facility was fully fitted out at Premier’s offsite factory in East Yorkshire and craned into position complete with the PET-CT scanner, doors, windows, partitions, glazed screens, and all mechanical and electrical services to reduce work on site to just four weeks. This approach significantly reduced the overall build programme.

Installation was completed on a Sunday to minimise disruption to the hospital. Access to the site was on a blue light ambulance route and close to the air ambulance helipad which required careful logistical planning and close monitoring with emergency services throughout the installation phase.

The heaviest module containing the PET-CT scanner weighed 22 tonnes and required a 350-tonne crane for its safe installation.

Commenting on the project, Gary Walters, Property Workstream Lead at Alliance Medical, said, “In our view, the most important benefit of a modular solution is the reduced programme compared to site-based construction. If we can complete a PET-CT facility several months earlier, as with the Norwich project, we can deliver these much-needed diagnostic services to patients sooner. Premier helped us to achieve this and provided value for money as well as the capabilities and expertise we required. The staff operating the new facility are very happy with it and it is helping us to offer an enhanced patient experience and pathway for the local cancer network community in Norfolk.”

David Curzon, Senior Project Manager at Lee Wakemans Management, said, “Modular buildings can be relocatable which makes the approach very suitable for fixed-term service contracts. These buildings could potentially be moved to another hospital when the contract for the site expires. Offsite construction also suits hospital sites very well because there is much less time on site than with traditional building methods – a big advantage. The foundations and drainage are put in place while the facility is manufactured offsite in the factory. Having the building operational at an earlier stage is much less disruptive for the host NHS trust and most importantly, gets the diagnostic services up and running for patients more quickly.”

“Premier performed well on this project and everyone is pleased with the building which is operating well. We look forward to working with their team on future schemes.”

This was a complex project which involved engineering the building structure and floor system to meet the loadings of the scanner and the stringent specification for acoustic and floor response factors, whilst maximising work offsite at Premier’s factory.

The single-storey building accommodates a fully lead-lined scanning room, which is designed to provide a calming patient environment with illuminated landscapes on the ceiling and images along one of the internal walls. A side wall was specially engineered to be removed should the scanner need to be replaced or moved, making the building fully futureproof. There is also a separate control room, and staff and patient support facilities.

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