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Birmingham Nightingale Hospital

Support services, construction and equipment group Interserve converted three hotels into COVID-19 isolation facilities to accommodate patients recovering from the disease.

The new hospital at the National Exhibition Centre, built by Birmingham based Interserve Construction, was officially opened by His Royal Highness the Duke of Cambridge and Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care via a video link in mid-April.

The facility initially provided 800 patient beds equipped with ventilators, with that number set to grow in time.

In numbers:
  • 86,000 construction hours worked
  • 400 employees and contractors on site from Interserve Construction and Interserve Engineering Services
  • More than 64 miles of electrical cable laid
  • The bed bays, laid end to end, would stretch over 13 miles
  • Vinyl flooring laid down across the equivalent of 11.5 football pitches
  • More than 10 miles of copper piping installed
  • Over 4,000 hot meals consumed
  • Fleet of 20 golf carts and Isuzu trucks to transport workers around site

Colin Hamilton, Strategic Account Director:

“Things don’t tend to move quickly in construction. Strategies are devised, options are contemplated, business cases are considered, and decisions are more measured.

“All that changed on 30th March 2020 when the Interserve team set foot on site at Birmingham’s NEC to build one the UK’s largest hospitals in less than two weeks. 2,000,000 square feet of floor space, 64 miles of electrical cable, 400 employees working over 86,000 hours, sometimes 16 hours a day – astonishing.”

Matt Loffman, Design and Technical Manager, Interserve Engineering Services:

“I’ve been lucky to work on some great projects both in the UK and overseas in the last 20-plus years. However, there was a distinct and overwhelming feeling of national pride in being part of the team in delivering this project. I’m proud to have played my part in supporting my colleagues in the successful delivery. It’s something that will live with me forever.”

Stuart Palmer, Site Manager:

“Interserve have had a strong team on NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham, and we have all worked very closely together to make it a success. The goodwill and support of subcontractors and suppliers has also been amazing. They have arranged same-day material deliveries and procured the trades people to install them at short notice. 

“The urgent requirement for this facility goes without saying, but we could not have worked these hours without the support of our families at home. There have been times where I haven’t seen my children for a week at a time.”