Grange University Hospital


Background / Objectives / Timeline

Part of the new £350m 471 bed facility at the Grange University Hospital in Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran which provides emergency and urgent care, the sterilisation and decontamination unit is a vital facility for cleaning re-usable surgical and medical equipment. The advent of the Grange University Hospital will significantly alter the distribution of operating theatres across the Aneurin Bevan University health board sites.

Consultant interventional radiologist Dr Chris Chick said: “Historically, our buildings, because they are old, are not designed for the way we would process patients on pathways efficiently.”

He said the new hospital provides “an environment that’s more fitting for a modern way of delivering healthcare”.

Advance(s) Sought

Achieving the overall advances sought by undertaking comprehensive testing and interfacing to ensure the strict NHS legislations are upheld and environmental conditions are closely and accurately controlled in a new sterile environment now requiring adequate COVID-19 Protection.

Technical and/or Scientific Challenges

Considerable testing of the above procedures is required to replicate an occupied building under several different ambient & air quality conditions. However, until the machines and processing equipment are installed it is unclear how the spaces can be adequately controlled and how responsive the HVAC Plant is.

When the project was originally designed/tendered, the COVID pandemic was not part of our lives and as such was not factored into our design or delivery plan. However, an increased but as yet unquantified level of closer air quality control, over and above what was originally required, will be necessary. The company faces the challenge of getting the correct level of air quality to suitably sustain the environment and its testing/sterilisation regime. It maybe necessary for the controllers to operate at a higher speed than usual to achieve this and therefore standard software cannot be used as it will take up too much space within the controller’s processer.

Resolution of Challenges, Project Outcomes and Future

The Company has researched the different methods of utilising non standard software to increase the speed at which data is routed but these are under test conditions and therefore not relevant to the site as the network connectivity will be different and may have a varying network speed depending on the high level of data traffic around the main hospital’s IP System.

Over and above this, extensive integration to the hospital’s existing IP network will need to be put into effect in order to ensure full transparency of the systems at all times to the Trust’s Facilities Team. This ensures that the hospital’s Facilities Management team has full access and visibility of the plant’s performance and energy usage.