Good progress on the £1.6m fifth operating theatre at Ashford Hospital nr Staines is being made by contractors W T Cuffe and Phase One is now complete. Phase One comprises new staff entrance, two anaesthetics offices; male changing and toilets; female changing and toilets; and a ‘hub’ room. Phase Two which is now underway includes the construction of a 5 bed temporary recovery area and new 10 bed recovery area, two new patient entrances and the transfer of Urology Department offices to a new area on the second floor above the recently completed extension to Day Surgery.

Glenn Douglas, Chief Executive of Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals commented: "The Trust has been making improvements to the capacity at Ashford over the last couple of years to ensure that we can meet the targets set out in the national NHS Plan published in May 2000. We need to increase our capacity for routine surgical work by 30 per cent overall to meet future waiting list targets which aim to reduce the wait to a maximum of 3 months by March 2006.

"Towards the end of 2002 we installed a second £50,000 laminar flow system into an existing theatre at Ashford. This system cleans the air and makes the theatre particularly suited for orthopaedic work. The fifth operating theatre will also have ‘laminar flow’. Through the hard work of all our staff we are on target to hit the 9 month waiting list target before the March 2004 deadline."

Contractors W T Cuffe (Construction) plc were selected for the work because of their reputation as ‘considerate contractors’ and past experience with health service projects. In 2002 the company were awared the City of London Corporation’s Planning and Transportation Committee ‘Chairman's Cup’. Not awarded every year but only in outstanding cases the Committee’s Chairman said that W T Cuffe’s had demonstrated that it is not only national companies who could be recognised for their excellent work in the City.

Project Engineer Mick Hickman said: “Our contractors, W T Cuffe are making excellent progress and we are on schedule to complete the project by spring 2004. We are grateful to patients, visitors and staff for bearing with us whilst construction of this important new facility takes place.”

As part of the Theatre 5 project it will be necessary for us to crane new air conditioning and cooling plant onto the roof of the Clinical Block. The crane will therefore need to set down in front of the Main Hospital effectively blocking through traffic around the main one way system in front of the Hospital for the duration of the craneage, some 2 / 3 hours. This will take place this Saturday (22nd November) from 07-30 onwards. Access to the two halves of the car park immediately outside the front on the main entrance / outpatients entrance will be affected. The half of the car park on the Outpatient side of the central pavement will be inaccessible once the crane has set down. Any cars still parked there at 07-30 will have to remain until craneage is completed. The car park immediately to the front of the wards themselves will be accessible at all times.


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