NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter

Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

116 bed NHS Nightingale Hospital designed and delivered in 57 days

NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter is part of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project provides 116 beds for patients suffering from the symptoms of coronavirus, the facilities are flexible to accommodate the sickest patients and those with less severe problems or recovering after a period in hospital.

Working closely with NHS and the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) we undertook a feasibility of a number of potential locations with the preferred option identified as a redundant retail unit.

The project started with an intensive briefing period including workshops and visits to emerging facilities in other parts of the UK. The lessons learned from this exercise led to the development of a different model with five 24 bed wards to enable the hospital to cater for the widest range of patients.

The project was completed in only 57 days with the design, construction and client teams working collaboratively on site to resolve issues as they emerged.

The speed of construction, site restrictions and availability of materials required innovative procurement of modular assemblies and components manufactured off-site. Almost 60 prefabricated single storey buildings were linked to provide the support spaces for the hospital. This doubled the floor space of the existing retail unit. The modules also provided the support structure for the extensive prefabricated engineering plant units required for the hospital.

The flexibility of the scheme has been proven with the centre being used for cancer screening due to a reduction in COVID-19 cases during Summer 2020.  NHS Nightingale Exeter received its first COVID-19 patients in November 2020.

This project brought together many different organisations and agencies who all collaborated with each other to create a truly incredible hospital in a very short time. This is a significant achievement and I am deeply appreciative of the support provided.

Philippa Slinger – Chief Executive, Nightingale Hospital Exeter