STRUCTURE: University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust has placed a £13.5m order for temporary buildings to expand its ward and operating theatre capacity, HSJ has been told.

The trust is planning to open an extra 138 beds between October 2014 and March 2015 as it takes on the transfer of key services from the former Stafford Hospital site.

As part of this process a 4,000m sq, two storey building will be constructed in less than four months to increase capacity at the hospital.

Operating theatre light

The trust has ordered the temporary units to expand its ward and operating theatre capacity

The £13.5m deal with Portakabin Hire is the largest the business has ever received, and follows the £256m investment in the Staffordshire health economy following dissolution of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust.

Due for completion this spring, the facilities will include 56 new inpatient beds, two operating theatres, a recovery room, “dirty” and “clean” theatre utilities, single rooms with ensuite bathrooms, staff changing rooms, a reception, kitchenette, offices and an integral plant room.

John Simpson, director of corporate services at the trust, said: “It is being built to a very short construction programme so we can have the new facility up and running as early as possible, meeting the increasing demand for services and enhancing patients’ experience.”

The trust is looking to rapidly expand capacity to improve its performance against the four hour A&E waiting times target, which dropped to 66.1 per cent in the week ending 11 January.

According to the latest A&E performance figures, in the week ending 4 January it also had 122 patients waiting over 12 hours to be admitted, accounting for more than half of the national total.

The trust is also set to take on acute inpatient surgery and trauma services and the associated anaesthetic support, as well as consultant led obstetrics, gynaecology and special care baby services from Stafford Hospital over the next six weeks.