The Women’s and Children’s Hospital was built as part of a wide-scale expansion of DRI which began in 1962 as it became Britain’s first District General Hospital. The aforementioned building was complete in 1967 and has been in operation ever since, and is the venue for an average of 4,000 births every single year.
Unfortunately in late April 2021, a significant water leak occurred on the east wing of the building, significantly damaging the electrical infrastructure and, as such, forcing the relocation of some paediatric and maternity services. Ever since, extensive repair works have been underway within the Women’s and Children’s Hospital which are not expected to be completed for some time.
As part of a £12.4 million investment, a number of wards are now being developed at the rear of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, alongside significant enabling works, which, once complete, will house surgical theatres, related plant room, as well as two-storey paediatric inpatient services. The buildings are constructed using modern methods of construction (MMC) and cutting edge technology by ModuleCo – with similar techniques employed in the construction of facilities such as university student accommodation, the hotel industry, as well as hospitals about to be built as part of the Government’s new programme.
Working with ModuleCo and Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP), throughout October the Trust will take delivery of a number of modules, which, once erected, will make up the cutting edge theatre unit and children’s ward, with appropriate link corridors created so that they are integrated seamlessly within the existing building. The theatre module is already in place, whilst the paediatric ward block, which is a two storey building, is being erected in the coming days. Once complete, the extension will be a modern and fit for purpose hospital ward and theatre complex.
Works are now underway, with an expected handover date of 8 December, with services expected to transition into these new areas in the days that follow.
Dr Kirsty Edmondson Jones, Director of Estates and facilities, said: “We are thrilled that work is now underway to create this high quality ward and theatre block at Doncaster Royal Infirmary. Since the water leak occurred earlier this year, we have had to make space within the hospital for some of our displaced services, such as paediatrics, which, given the activity driven by COVID-19, has made things challenging. With this new block we will be able to transition services back within the footprint of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, co-locating expertise once again, ensuring we have the relevant specialities and their staff all in one place.
“Whilst these new wards are in use, works will intensify on the east side of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, both to repair the damage caused by the leak, as well as bring them up to modern specifications. Unfortunately, as our estate was largely constructed in the 1930s and 1960s, it means each year we spend a large sum on our extensive maintenance backlog as well as diverting much of our time and attention to patching up and fixing issues, rather than redeveloping our sites. Hopefully, with these new additions, we will be able to move forward and progress this particular area of DRI, enhancing the experience for our patients, as well as improving the working environment for colleagues.”
The overall cost of this development will be approximately £12.4 million, which includes the cost of the wards and theatres, as well as enabling works and repairs to the east side of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.