Merit to deliver modular unit for Norfolk NHS trust

  • 3rd January 2024

Offsite construction methods will deliver new facility in just five months

Northumberland-based construction firm, Merit, has been appointed by Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust to design and deliver its new 48-bed modular unit on the Norwich Community Hospital site.

The multi-million-pound facility, which has been designed with sustainability in mind, will be delivered in just five months.

News of Merit’s appointment follows the trust’s announcement in August 2023 that it was one of 30 NHS organisations awarded funding to provide more beds and increase capacity to help relieve hospital pressures and cut waiting lists.

The therapy-led unit, named Willow Therapy Unit following a vote by NCH&C staff, patients, families, and local residents, will improve the transition of patients from hospital care to the community, helping to ease pressure on local acute hospitals.

Patient-centred care

A multi-disciplinary team of clinical professionals dedicated to patient recovery and wellbeing will be based at the new facility, which will play a key role in the delivery of patient-centred, supportive care in Norfolk and Waveney.

The state-of-the-art facility will include a combination of single and four-bedded bays, as well as treatment areas, an assessment kitchen and self-service café area where patients can make drinks for themselves and their families, staff amenities, and a reception area.

Utilising advanced 4D BIM modelling technology and a product-based approach, Merit’s offering is especially suited to meet the current needs of healthcare facilities, enabling the highest level of infection control and easy adaptability for future needs.

Pioneering a new approach to the industrialisation of construction, Merit will be delivering the facility using its new V6 UltraPOD SFS variant.

UltraPOD is Merit’s expandable full building solution that can be configured to create multiple types of buildings for a variety of uses.

A fresh approach

The new UltraPOD SFS variant utilises Merit’s latest roll former, panel line production system to enhance affordability and accessibility through a significantly-reduced programme.

The V6 platform comes as standard, rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’ as a minimum, EPC-A, and energy consumption is 69% lower than current CIBSE hospital benchmarks.

Tony Wells, chief executive at Merit, said: “We’re delighted to be working collaboratively with Norfolk Community Health & Care NHS Trust to deliver this new facility, which will bring improved healthcare services to the local community.

“Merit’s new UltraPOD SFS variant is ideal for this project, bringing enormous advantages in terms of speed, quality, a sustainable centric design, enhanced infection control, and affordability.

“At Merit, we’re continually looking for new ways in which to innovate and optimise our product offering, so we can provide the go-to choice for swift and efficient project delivery.”

He added: “The traditional construction business model struggles with quality, affordability, and accessibility, and we believe our new UltraPOD SFS variant will solve a range of customer problems, while simultaneously increasing overall UK healthcare building capability through our automated industry 4.0 factory solution to provide healthcare facilities of the future.”

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