Tilbury Douglas’ Walsall care-centre build hit by delay

The delivery of a £40m emergency care unit in Walsall by Tilbury Douglas has been delayed because of supply chain disruption.

The urgent and emergency care centre was due to be handed over to Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust by the autumn, but supply chain issues in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed the completion date back to next year.

Tilbury Douglas was appointed to deliver the project in 2019 and started work on the main phase in June 2021 after months of remediation, archaeological work and road reconfiguration.

Russell Caldicott, chief financial officer at the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said 2022 had been “another tough year” with the pandemic continuing to affect the economy, as well as many other aspects of life.

“People will be well aware of supply issues that have an everyday impact, as well as a major impact on major construction projects such as this one,” he said.

“Work is continuing at pace, and we are all sighted on this fantastic new development being handed over to the trust early in the new year, with teams very much looking forward to working in their new environment.”

Chief operating officer Ned Hobbs said the transition process for staff moving into the new centre and the patients who would be supported there was well underway.

The extended timeframe would allow additional preparatory work to take place, he added: “While we’re now going to have the building handed over to us early in 2023, it does give Tilbury Douglas an opportunity to carry out enabling works on our first-floor shell space, which will incorporate our frailty service, integrated front-door service, and mental health and other specialists.”

The development, which will provide an additional 5,400 square metres of accident and emergency space, includes an urgent-treatment centre, an emergency department and provision for ambulatory emergency care services in a future phase.

Specialist facilities such as isolation rooms for infectious patients, bariatric provision and digital x-ray rooms will be located throughout the centre, which has been designed to increase efficiency, as well as to provide an improved quality of care and working environment.

Tilbury Douglas has been approached for comment.

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