The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool - a hospital that doesn't feel like one
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust opened its major new hospital in Liverpool in June 2020 to transform cancer care for patients in Merseyside, Cheshire and beyond. To help ensure the state-of-the-art facility opened to patients on time and to budget, the Healthcare Improvement Solutions team at NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) helped to fully equip the 11-storey, 110 bedroom hospital.
Tasked with delivering a flagship new cancer hospital to provide highly specialist care to the region's 2.4 million people, PropCare Ltd - a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust - turned to NHS SBS to lead on all aspects of furnishing and equipping the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre Liverpool (CCC-L) within budget and on time.
With pioneering treatments, such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiotherapy, and cutting-edge facilities for diagnostics and imaging, a clinical decisions unit, day case and outpatient treatments, bone marrow transplant and clinical therapies, the brief for NHS SBS was to create an aesthetically pleasing 'non-hospital' environment for patient treatment and recovery, and for relatives and employees.
The challenge was made all the more difficult when the Covid-19 pandemic hit at a critical time in the project, just a few months before the planned opening date. This led to difficulties sourcing critical products in the face of huge levels of demand from across the NHS and more widely.
This close collaboration was key to the overall success of the project. NHS SBS was an integral part of the hospital's design team, working closely with suppliers to re-design specific areas to create the desired feel and bring the CCC-L vision to life.
When changes or challenges arose - not least a global pandemic - NHS SBS stepped in to provide logistical support to ensure the hospital's opening date could still be achieved.
The team managed the purchasing process through NHS SBS's portfolio of compliant procurement frameworks, running mini competitions to achieve the best possible value for the Trust.
They also facilitated design development and worked with suppliers to provide 3D visuals, which allowed key stakeholders to visualise the furniture and proposed design ahead of ordering.
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Throughout the project NHS SBS was conscious of the need to keep patients at the heart of key decisions. When reviewing chemotherapy chair suppliers, for example, the team arranged a trial to give patients the opportunity to test different options and select the preferred product. Patients can now appreciate views of Liverpool's cityscape from a comfortable chair as they undergo treatment.
The team reacted to programme changes by managing suppliers and rescheduling deliveries at short notice, whilst making sure the Trust's aesthetic and practical requirements were maintained. For instance, when it looked like a global shortage of patient beds could lead to a delayed opening, NHS SBS worked hard to successfully source and secure an alternative supplier at late notice.
With a condensed commissioning programme, NHS SBS specialists were on site every day to ensure deliveries and installations were aligned to other work streams - so that the occupation could be achieved as planned.
Summarising the success of the partnership on behalf of The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Fiona Jones, Director of PropCare, said:
"The support from NHS SBS was excellent. The team was flexible, professional, very knowledgeable and responsive. They worked very closely with our clinical staff and architects on furniture and equipment selection. The result has been a great success, with furnishings that complement the building aesthetic extremely well. Patient feedback has been excellent too.
"Due to Covid-19 we commissioned the hospital in just four weeks. NHS SBS was on site working alongside us throughout, managing a compressed equipping installation period and working with the supply chain to secure deliveries as close to the planned schedule as possible - despite the unprecedented challenges of wider NHS demand.
"I would not hesitate to partner with NHS SBS again and would recommend them to others requiring a total equipping service."