Accelerating Care

To address inpatient surges due to COVID-19, many healthcare organisations around the world are constructing “Nightingale Hospitals,” named after the founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale, in which patients are typically housed in open wards instead of private rooms.

The 180-bed Jersey Hospital Nightingale Wing, a 130m x 40m prefabricated building on a greenfield site, was designed and delivered in less than a month after it was commissioned in light of COVID-19.

Because speed was imperative, opting for a prefabricated shell ensured the hospital could be quickly erected and demounted. The 40m-span spaceframe roof was assembled at ground level and hydraulics lifted the whole roof into position. Standardisation was key for this build, both for ease and efficiency of construction and also for easy navigation in use.

Once the modular shell was erected, a quick-fit partitioning and door system was used to segregate the internal spaces. The wards - long and narrow with uninterrupted views for staff - are arranged as 30-bedded units with a nurse base and medication facility at the centre of each providing good views to patients. This layout does not require intensive staffing levels and facilitates clear segregation of flows for placing clean and dirty utilities at opposite ends of each ward. The linear layout of two adjacent wards leading to four adjacent wards allowed for incremental use – the first 60 beds could be put into use without the need to open the entire 180-bed capacity.

Folding screens and fixed “wing walls” create a sense of privacy to help to put patients at ease and enable them to recover faster. Standardising bedheads for acute care, including oxygen provision but not invasive ventilation, was a good way to save time during construction and use. Staff respite spaces are provided including a staff lounge with sea views- a space for pause and reflection- as well as staff changing facilities and a dedicated staff entrance into the hospital. There is space for changing into and out of PPE, with strategically placed PPE top-up facilities throughout the building.