The Government recently announced the launch of the fourth generation of its ProCure framework for the design and construction of NHS capital projects, ProCure23 (P23). Many of the healthcare projects Grainge Architects have undertaken have been successfully procured and delivered through earlier iterations of this framework. Our most recently completed scheme is the award-winning Jasmine Lodge, a mother & baby unit at Wonford Hospital delivered under P21. We are currently working on several P22 schemes, including a 16-bed acute mental health unit at Torbay Hospital, two older person’s mental health ward refurbishments and a new integrated hospital & care home on the Isles of Scilly.
The fundamental principle of the framework is collaboration. It places a focus on contractors, clients and designers all working efficiently together to produce quality healthcare settings that offer value for money. This aligns very well with Grainge Architects’ overarching design ethos. We have a wealth of experience in working with contractors to create affordable designs that are both practicable and deliverable, without compromising on design quality. Equally, we strive to always develop a strong relationship with client teams to help realise their vision. In this sector, innovative and well-informed thinking can be the key to achieving non-institutional environments and we enjoy exploring new ideas with specialist clinicians and former patients to create inspiring and therapeutic places for recovery.
Under traditional forms of procurement, the contractor is typically selected after much of the detailed design has been undertaken. We find the early engagement with the partnering contractor enabled by the ProCure framework particularly valuable. On Salus Ward at Torbay Hospital, for example, the contractor’s input regarding site access, scaffolding requirements and opportunities to minimise groundworks was all incorporated into the design at a very early stage. This sharing of expertise at the outset of the design process helped to avoid the need for the proposed solution to be amended to improve buildability further down the line.
Other benefits of the framework include Repeatable Rooms and the Standard Component Catalogue, the use of which aids efficiency in both the design and construction of projects. Repeatable Rooms offer exemplary, evidence-based designs for some of the most common rooms in hospitals. We find that adopting these templates provides an excellent starting point and avoids ‘re-inventing the wheel’, allowing us to quickly progress early-stage floor plans with the confidence that the room layouts have been rigorously tested both in terms of technical performance and the patient experience.
Currently the framework is shared by six national contractors. The new P23 model will split smaller projects (less than £20million) geographically across the seven NHS England regions, a move that is intended to open up local opportunities for smaller-scale regional contractors and increase overall delivery capacity. This appears to be a positive development, especially for projects here in the southwest where an understanding of the local geography, climate and other regional factors can be so crucial to successful delivery. For instance, our proposals for an integrated health hub on the Isles of Scilly are currently only at the feasibility stage, but already considerations of material transportation and construction limitations unique to the Isles are shaping the proposals.
Grainge Architects look forward to partnering with contractors to deliver more high-quality schemes for health and social care providers under P23.