Engineering and construction firm Merit has launched a new healthcare division which it states will build hospitals faster, more cost-effectively and sustainably, while deploying infection control to make wards Covid-19 safe.

Merit adds that Merit Health will reduce long-established building construction timelines without compromising quality.

The company based in Cramlington, Northumberland says it has completed a number of projects within the health and life sciences sector, including expansion of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult manufacturing centre in Stevenage, and is currently working on the construction of a healthcare sterilisation facility for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

A typical acute facility takes three-to-four years to build, from inception to handover. Merit says it can deliver projects in half the time. With 75-90% of the building manufactured at its factory near Newcastle, it states that a combination of its standard designs, offsite technologies and shorter supply chains, significantly accelerates the construction process.

Tony Wells, managing director at Merit, said: “The NHS will undergo a major upgrade of its estates, including the 40 hospitals programme and it’s great the government has recognised the benefits of standardisation and the need to utilise modern methods of construction. With the innovative methods Merit employs, this can be done quicker, at lower cost, and with higher standards of infection control and zero carbon emissions.

“The government is only going to deliver its ambitious building programme if companies like Merit enter the fold and show how it can be done. This will also be a critical element towards achieving the NHS’s net zero carbon commitment which was announced last week. Our individual hospital bay ventilation and extraction technology also means no cross contamination, which is critical as the NHS continues to deal with Covid-19 as well as future potential pandemics.”

Date published: October 8, 2020

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