Guy’s and St Thomas’ turn clock back 70 years by appointing historic contractor to build new cancer wards

1 October 2019 09:00 - BAM Construct UK Ltd
Guy’s and St Thomas’ turn clock back 70 years by appointing historic contractor to build new cancer wards

Hemel Hempstead, 1 October 2019 - Four brand new cancer wards are being created for Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust – which has chosen a contractor that first worked at Guy’s Hospital 70 years ago in 1949. BAM Construction, part of the worldwide Royal BAM Group, has been chosen to deliver the works which will see four new wards added to the third and fourth floors of Bermondsey Wing, and extensive mechanical, electrical and pipework upgrades.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ is currently discussing the full contractual details with BAM which is now on site at Guy’s Hospital operating under a pre-contractual agreement to conduct initial works. When finalised, the full works will strip out parts of Bermondsey Wing to its shell, and result in several new en-suite wards, with the teenage and young adult ward being the first phase. Other new facilities will include nursing areas, offices and a gym.

The UK part of BAM was founded in London in 1874 (as Higgs and Hill) and built its first hospital – St George’s on Hyde Park Corner – a year later. It has now completed over 400 UK hospital schemes in its 150 years. BAM’s partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ began in 1949 when it extended the Medical School’s pathology building for the sum of £26,694. In today’s money that’s around a million pounds. BAM went on to deliver another seven schemes for Guy’s and St Thomas’ and in 1991, then Prime Minister John Major performed a ‘topping out’ for a series of major infrastructure alterations and a new footbridge.

BAM’s London Director, Rod Stiles, says: ‘Our main challenge is going to be working around the live hospital environment. That means very close liaison and developing high quality working relationships. One member of our current team even worked on our scheme here nearly 30 years ago so we have a good understanding of the building. Upgrading ventilation, heating and lighting services in a hospital is complex and we have our own in house specialists to deliver this which represents a big reduction in risk because we don’t have to rely on others. Of course, everything has changed since 1949. Just as medicine and healthcare has moved on in leaps and bounds, construction is unrecognisable, being much cleaner, much safer and we build using sophisticated design software, robotics, and virtual reality techniques. Our people have diverse careers and are treated so much better. Our long history makes us the oldest major contractor in London – there are a very few older firms but none were major players at the time we began trading. That makes it special for us to re-engage with a customer as renowned as Guy’s and St Thomas’ and to celebrate 70 years with a fresh scheme to help people in London recover to live healthier lives.’

Guy’ Hospital dates from 1721, when it was founded by philanthropist Thomas Guy. It was originally established as a hospital to treat ‘incurables’ discharged from St Thomas' Hospital.

The architect for the cancer wards project – which is scheduled to complete in 2021 - is AHR. The value of the construction contract is approximately £10 million. It was procured competitively via the Southern Construction Framework.

Further information: Mark Slattery, Press and Media Manager, BAM Construct UK Ltd, 01442 238415.