Gilberts delivers form and functionality in healthcare reform “first”

Gilberts delivers form and functionality in healthcare reform “first”

The first community diagnostics hub of its kind in England is now open and delivering a healthy environment for patients through its ventilation.

The Rutherford Diagnostic Centre Somerset in Taunton is the first to open in response to recommendations made in an independent review, recommending such facilities be created in free-standing, accessible locations to provide quicker and easier access to patients(1).

Phase 1 of the new facility provides two MRI rooms, two CT scan rooms and an ultrasound room, equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic equipment and cannulation rooms plus support consulting rooms and reception. It has been delivered by Kier with Totus Engineering as building services contractor, fulfilling the brief developed by consultants Steven A Hunt and using grilles and diffusers from Gilberts Blackpool.

Occupying the entire ground floor of the building, Phase 1 of the diagnostic centre- run by Rutherford Diagnostics Ltd in partnership with Somerset NHS Foundation Trust- utilises mechanical ventilation as the most efficient means of adequately supplying and extracting air throughout the diverse spaces.

It is critical that fixtures and fittings do not interfere with the highly sensitive equipment in use in the MRI rooms and magnetic forces generated whilst the ventilation provided a clean airflow path. Thus, throughout the MRI Scan suite areas, a combination of Gilberts’ DGA4 louvred face diffusers and GECA egg-crate grilles, specifically manufactured in non-ferrous material and plastic PX extract valves have been used to provide compliant quality and volume of air in line with latest NHS guidance HTM03-01.

In non-treatment areas and other clinical spaces, mild steel versions of the DGA4 and GECA units supply fresh, filtered air which is extracted via Gilberts’ PG-R perforated face diffusers.

In the main reception, Gilberts’ JSL jumbo slot diffusers in runs up to 12m have been installed, blending seamlessly into architectural design of feature ceilings with their “shadowgap” aesthetics whilst delivering an ultra high capacity of supply and extract airflow with strategically positioned plenum boxes along the lengths.

Explained Dave Norcross, Steven A Hunt Projects Manager, “Our brief was to come up with a functional, effective design that complied with guidance for diagnostic facilities and HTM 03-01. We needed to ensure a good working environment for equipment and staff. We needed to deliver a clean, draught-free environment for patients that made a positive contribution towards minimising risk of infection by ‘scouring’ the space and being efficiently extracted.

“We can rely on Gilberts to work with us to design and deliver, even when we require non-standard and/or specialised options. Its heritage within healthcare environment proves its ability to produce components that can meet the stringent demands of airflow and extraction in sensitive locations. As a result, we were confident we would have the support to complete the project on time and on budget.”

Added Mike Moran, Chief Executive Officer of Rutherford Health, “The importance of early diagnosis cannot be overstated. This centre is a major step forward in addressing the rising diagnostic demand and managing the growing backlog caused by the pandemic. It is critical that every element of the building- including the ventilation- contributes towards patients get the best treatment as quickly as possible, to achieve an efficient pathway to better health.”

The Diagnostic Centre is the latest in a line of healthcare environments for Gilberts, including Royal Preston Hospital, Papworth Hospital, the Harborne Hospital in Birmingham and Rowan View in Liverpool. The UK’s leading independent air movement specialist, Gilberts is unique in its ability to develop, in-house, components for natural or mechanical ventilation in commercial environments that answer changing market requirements. Its state of the art test centre, designed and built in-house, is one of the most technically advanced in the country.

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