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Royal Albert Edward Infirmary


Sector – Healthcare

This development at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan provided a permanent emergency Nightingale Ward, standing at 1,156 sqm. It was designed, manufactured, and completed on site ahead of schedule in less than 40 days, during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak. Safe systems of work were employed to ensure the protection of all concerned on site, adhering to strict social distancing guidelines and maintaining high levels of personal hygiene. The complex nature of this project made it necessary for installation works to progress within a live hospital setting during the construction phase. Working in Partnership with the Darwin Group on behalf of the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, this project was successfully delivered against highly ambitious deadlines.

Client Brief

Extensive access solutions were required to all points of access and egress from the unit.

a) Bridge between two access points at the rear of each Ward to form a fire escape route, whilst incorporating stepped access ‘up and over’ for maintenance purposes

b) Provide an access and egress route to the west Ward.

c) Provide stepped access to the plant and facilities room.

d) Prevent unauthorised access to the roof space above the newly constructed Ward.


1100mm High Rails

Installed at specified position on the platform sections, these rails provide additional safety and assurance.


Being a ‘public building’, adherence to the latest access guidance was a prerequisite. Working alongside Darwin we were able to inform their own design considerations, creating a solution
that was not only functional, but fully compliant.


Owing to the varied door recesses, bespoke threshold plates were manufactured to bridge the door reveals, providing seamless access to all entrances and importantly, providing a smooth transition for hospital beds and trolleys.


This access solution was specified to be fully balustraded.


In order to prevent vermin entry underneath the Ward, custom bracketry was installed to provide a fixing point for the skirting to secure to.

Highlighted Edges

All level changes required 55mm highlighted edge strips, providing a visual indication to all users.

Additional Information

Time on site the complete

All modular ramp system components were installed in only 4 days with the total time from inquiry to survey, design and installation taking just over 3 weeks.

Logistical Considerations

Working on an extremely small site with minimal storage space and severely restricted access, work was undertaken at the picking and palletisation stage to ensure equipment was grouped in such a way that it could be offloaded at designated drop off points. This ensured that access around the site remained, which was vital given that multiple trades were present at any given point in time, whilst not hindering the speed of installation which would have resulted from having to unnecessarily move equipment.

Additional Works

Whilst on site a request came through for us to consider the creation of a barrier to prevent unauthorised access on top of the newly built Ward, from an existing 2 storey fire exit. Using our Easirail range of posts, connectors and bracketry, we were able to install an effective barrier solution within 24 hours from request, ensuring the opening of the Ward could remain on track.

Project Summary

All works were completed within rigid timescales and on a highly complex site. We were pleased to be able to offer our products and services at such short notice during the Coronavirus outbreak, helping patients at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and to the satisfaction of the Darwin Group, and the NHS Foundation Trust at Wigan.