Staff Wellbeing Initiative of the Year

BAM Construct UK – Stoddart House, Aintree University Hospital

Stoddart House was vacant for approximately 5 years prior to refurbishment and was previously a Mental Health Unit for adults. The project saw the re-modelling and refurbishment of the 2-storey former mental health service building, into a 69-bed Intermediate Care Centre. The service, within Stoddart House, now provides step down capacity from acute trusts for medically stable and optimised patients, whose care and assessment can be continued in a non-acute setting.

It has a mixture of single and double bed rooms with dedicated ensuites, and associated support space including Activities of Daily Living (ADL) kitchen/dining rooms, quiet rooms, treatment and assessment areas.

The facility was delivered in 2 phases in order to decant wards which were in the main hospital tower building, to free up space for general and Covid recovery wards. The initial soft strip of the building was completed by demolition contractor, PP O’Connor over a six week period. Doors, lights, pipes, wires, furnishings, roof insulation, bathrooms and floor finishes were removed, exposing the shell, creating over 700m³ of waste.

This necessary waste enabled the installation of much needed new fixtures and services. During the soft strip phase, the two courtyards required extensive clearing of overgrown shrubbery and the removal of two spiral staircases. As a result of this work, an usable outdoor space was created; incredibly important for improving mental health of patients, staff and visitors.

An element of the design which impacted the construction were the ensuite shower recesses. BAM were required to eliminate any trip hazards, such as steps or lips, in the showers. This meant the existing screed needed to be broken and relayed so the water would naturally fall into the gully. However, the first floor beam and block construction with screed topping proved difficult to de-bond from the existing hollow blocks. In order for the hollow blocks to not shatter, very delicate and precise workmanship was required.

Additionally, several, time consuming trials were completed over different areas before de-bonding the screed as there were varying depths across the first floor. This process was testament to BAM’s skills in workmanship and planning. The new design for Stoddart House included creating more open floor spaces by removing partition and load-bearing walls. The open spaces created better, more natural lighting throughout, reducing the reliance on artificial lights, and making a more accessible building. 44 load bearing block walls across the ground and first floors were demolished.

Other works involved the formation of a new bed lift, the refurbishment of existing lift, replacing the existing windows and creating a dedicated standalone package plant room external to the building. Clare Pratt, Associate Director of Nursing and Integration of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust stated, “I found the governance around delivery of the project particularly good.

Communication with the Project Manager was excellent throughout the project and all minor issues were dealt with quickly and efficiently. We were left with a superb build that staff, users, visitors and regulators have all commented on the high quality spec and finish”.

Investing in Well Being Infrastructure

The Estates, Facilities, and Capital team at Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) have developed, invested, and implemented award winning contributions towards improving staff wellbeing. The ‘New Staff Wellbeing Initiative’ category provides a perfect platform to showcase two of our built environment schemes that directly responds to staff health and wellbeing:

  • ‘The Retreat’
  • Facilities and Support Services staff wellbeing hub

WUTH, like other acute hospital settings, are operating within a pressurised environment due to the nature of its business and this extends itself to the support services that wrap around clinical care. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on the WUTH workforce and maintaining staff wellbeing has been a real challenge.

Investing in staff has been a top priority with coordinated strategic plans from Charitable fundraising to Infrastructure investment and delivery; this has helped us to deliver a system collaboration of wellbeing infrastructure and service improvement initiatives resulting in a credible entry for this award category as follows:

‘The Retreat’

(Build Value £600k, Total Investment £780k)

A campaign for charitable contributions held during the pandemic to support enhancements for staff wellbeing, resulted in a decision to revamp an outdated ‘Bowmans’ restaurant following staff consultation.

We developed a concept to provide a unique space with the aim to create a true sanctuary away from the busy hospital environment.

The introduction of a communal hub space with comfortable lounge settings and a fully equipped central beverage station was created to bring the various teams together in one space to create a social community.

A main feature of the space is a bespoke banquet seating unit that has a central spine of planting to welcome people and create a natural barrier to give the main seating area a layer of privacy.

Victoria Burrows, WUTH Charity Head of Fundraising, said: “Staff have worked so hard throughout the pandemic. Being able to take some important break time during a busy day is hugely important to health and wellbeing. We are delighted that this new restaurant, with break out facilities and wellbeing spaces will help with that”.

The scheme provided an opportunity to make wider changes supporting our sustainability, equality and social value agendas and reflecting modern food trends, the Trust’s Green Plan, and supply chain enhancements.

Facilities & Support Services Staff Wellbeing Hub

(Build Value £600k, Total Investment £860)

There was a decline in staff wellbeing across Facilities and Support Services, during the COVID-19 pandemic, further engagement with this staff group indicated a real need to invest in their wellbeing provisions.

The upgrade of the staff changing area was identified as one of several capital funding investments, in recognition of our staff and to thank them for their dedication and continued support.

The scheme was developed in conjunction with the workforce to ensure the design met the functional requirements, new locker rooms, and bathroom facilities whilst addressing their wellbeing needs.

The Wellbeing Hub was designed to feel non-clinical to encourage social interaction and bring people together promoting wellness and inclusivity in a supportive environment.

Northumbria Staff Health & Wellbeing Centre

The Covid Pandemic placed unprecedented demands on staff from both an emotional and mental wellbeing perspective. A Trust staff survey indicated that staff felt emotionally exhausted from their work, and felt there was “nowhere to go on site without patients or visitors being present”, therefore found it hard to relax and enjoy their rest periods, particularly, if they found themselves sitting next to someone that they had just treated.

Northumbria vision to create a space which was available to all staff 24 hours.

The Key objectives

• 24/7 accessibility

• Technology enabled

• Rest and Relaxation spaces

• Formal/Informal meeting spaces

• Health club/gym facility

• Healthy Food and Beverage offer

• Non-clinical environment

From this came the “Northumbria Staff Health and Wellbeing Centre (HWBC)” which was created at the Trusts Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Northumberland.

Northumbria recognised that simply building and making available the HWBC to staff was unlikely to deliver the maximum available impact. It was the way in which the HWBC was to be run and the strategies for engaging and sustaining staff, both within and outside the physical infrastructure would be key to its success.

Northumbria devised a Hub and Spoke Model to deliver this vision, with the Trust’s main objective remaining the delivery of a comprehensive wellbeing strategy across all Trust locations. As such the Trust built in digital strategies to stream wellbeing (exercise and other support) through smart devices. This strategy sought to network the Hub and Spokes together to maximise wellbeing opportunity.

The vision was to develop the HWBC, which would act as the “Hub”, and then improvements and upgrades to facilities at the other sites “Spokes”, developing the Hub and Spoke Model. These Hub and Spokes are networked together to create a more holistic wellbeing offering, delivering wellbeing support to a larger staff population.

An appraisal of our site also identified lack of meeting spaces and as pandemic took hold the need for suitable equipment and working spaces to allow more agile working and adopt a digital working practice.

The site had only one centralised restaurant shared by staff, patients and visitors, there was a clear need for good nutritious food and drink available 24 hours a day to staff with an appropriate environment to create breakaway spaces from the hospital environment creating good mental and physical health. The Naked Deli establishing the first partnership of its type in the UK with a substidised price for staff.

Trust partnered with Active Northumberland a local charity with trust staff membership set at only £1 per month. Induction conducted by personal trainers who create personal training plans based on individuals abilities and what they want to gain from the gym i.e. fitness/build muscle/loose body fat. Full body scan is completed to assess current levels of fitness this can be used as a baseline. Gym equipment is smart and programmed to each user setting machine weight height etc electronically. App integration gives uses access to their workout routines to check on how they are progressing, able to communicate with personal trainers.