Building hospitals in a time of need

Working together in the UK helped quickly turn an existing space into a hospital.

April 30, 2020

With COVID-19 putting unprecedented pressure on health services, the UK’s National Health Service is adding temporary hospitals in cities such as London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.

Andy Demetriou, Head of Projects at JLL’s Integral business, has been helping the NHS convert a university exhibition and conference centre in Bristol into a critical-care, 300-bed hospital.

“This was something that required quick-thinking and immediate action,” says Andy. “We’ve found ourselves working with firms who in normal times would be regarded as competitors but right now, everyone is pulling together to get the job done so the hospital can start treating patients as soon as possible.”

While speed was of the essence, safety was the priority, with teams adhering to social distancing guidelines while working to build rooms, corridors, breakout areas for doctors and nurses, storage areas, pharmacies, and lighting and ventilation systems.

“There’s a great sense of pride in what, through unprecedented collaboration with so many parties, we’ve achieved as a team and how it supports the ongoing efforts of the NHS to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he says.

A time-lapse of the work can be seen here.

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