Ashe awarded major projects at Bedford North Wing Hospital


Ashe Construction has been awarded £14m of contracts to transform Bedford’s North Wing hospital site.

The two projects will create a one-stop shop for primary and secondary care to create better access to healthcare and diagnostics, without the need for patients to attend Bedford’s acute hospital site.

The first project for Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is valued at £11.8m, and has been procured through the Pagabo Major Works framework. It will transform the existing Gilbert Hitchcock House (GHH) in Kimbolton Road, to provide diagnostic services such as MRI, CT, ultrasound, x-ray and cardiology services for increased demand in the area.

Around 400-600 appointments currently take place in the building each day so the project will be delivered in two phases to ensure existing services can be maintained throughout the works.

David Carter, Chief Executive of Bedfordshire Hospitals said: “We welcome this major investment at Bedfordshire Hospitals which will bring crucial tests closer to home and help us improve outcomes for patients with serious conditions, by diagnosing health conditions earlier, faster and more accurately.

“The new facilities will allow patients to access planned diagnostic care in a more convenient location without the need to attend our hospital sites, taking some pressure off our acute hospitals and allowing us to focus resources on more complex cases and urgent and emergency care.”

Ashe will have a team of between 45 and 50 working on the site for the year-long project, with vehicle movements carefully planned and co-ordinated to maintain safety at all times.

A new substation and backup generator will provide failsafe power and GHH will benefit from improved energy efficiency with ground and air source heat pumps installed.

Ian Robbins, managing director at Ashe said: “We are very experienced at working in live healthcare settings so understand the needs of service users, and healthcare providers, and how to minimise the impact of our works during projects like these. We are really looking forward to delivering these improved services, taking the pressure off the main South Wing Hospital, and increasing much-needed primary and secondary healthcare capacity for patients in North Bedfordshire.”

The existing gym at GHH will be converted into consulting rooms, MRI and CT scanners. Phlebotomy, retinal screening and therapy services will also be accommodated there.

Adjacent to the project at GHH, Ashe will work on a £3m refurbishment project at Bedford Health Village for Assemble Fund Co. Ltd to develop an Enhanced Service Centre (ESC) to provide primary healthcare services in two phases.

It will bring together a number of GP practices and community services to the health village, giving patients easy access to potentially life-saving tests for a range of conditions, quickly and easily at neighbouring GHH.

The project consists of full refurbishment works over three floors of the building, with phase one due for completion in July and phase two due to complete in October.

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded £24m of national funding to enhance facilities on the site.

Ashe has undertaken four projects for Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in recent years.