Darwin Group delivers three new hospital wards during pandemic


Modular construction specialists provides additional accommodation for the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan

Modular construction specialist, Darwin Group, has completed the first of three new wards for the NHS.

The development at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan provides a permanent new emergency Nightingale Ward for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust.

The modular unit was designed, manufactured and completed onsite ahead of schedule in less than 40 days and during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The ward accommodation facility, which scales more than 1,156 sq m, will support the local community throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with an additional 50 inpatient beds split across two separate Nightingale Wards – both of which are now ready to occupy.

Chris Knights, deputy director of strategy and planning at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust, said: “We are now better placed than most to manage the COVID-19 crisis.

“The team ethic, professionalism and sheer determination shown to get this project completed in a time of such uncertainty is to be commended.”

Darwin Group’s innovative modular building solutions are manufactured in a highly-controlled environment at its state-of-the-art production facilities in Shrewsbury.

This control of the critical element of the supply chain enables complete quality management and greater flexibility to plan production to meet demand.

The complex nature of these projects made it necessary for significant works to progress within a live hospital setting during the construction phase.

And the crisis has magnified the benefits of utilising modern methods to construct buildings off-site and deliver against previously-impossible deadlines.

Charles Pierce, managing director at the Darwin Group, said: “As a proud British company, we wanted our people to make a difference towards the national effort in battling coronavirus.

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“Their expertise in modern methods of construction will allow us to deliver three new high-quality, permanent hospital wards at a time when they are needed most.”