Merit launches Health division to meet £3.7bn Government plans for new hospitals, built offsite, with enhanced infection control

Offsite Built Hospital Design
  • Unique offsite construction approach delivers innovative, high-quality, zero-carbon emissions healthcare facilities in a quarter of the time
  • New dedicated, cost-effective offer will help enable delivery of renewed UK government commitment to build 40 new hospitals by 2030
  • Ideally suits the needs of facilities requiring superior infection control and containment, such as vaccine manufacture and advanced therapy units.

October 8, 2020 – Merit, the offsite construction specialist for technically complex, zero-carbon emissions buildings, has launched Merit Health, a new healthcare division focussed on building hospitals faster, more cost-effectively and sustainably while also deploying enhanced infection control which can make wards Covid-19 safe.

Merit Health will use the company’s unique offsite manufacturing technology to significantly reduce long-established building construction timelines, without compromising quality. This approach will be critical in supporting the Government’s pledge to build 40 new hospitals which was reaffirmed at the Conservative Party Conference this week by Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock.

The North East-based company has already 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. In addition, it is currently working on the ongoing construction of a state-of-the art healthcare sterilisation facility for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Merit Health will focus on accelerating projects of this kind to meet the demand for flexible, safe, and sustainable healthcare sites.

A typical acute facility takes 3-4 years to build, from inception to handover, whilst Merit’s offsite approach can deliver projects in half the time. With 75-90% of the building manufactured at the 270,000ft² Merit factory near Newcastle, a combination of Merit standard designs, offsite technologies and shorter supply chains, significantly accelerates the construction process.

This allows Merit to deliver high quality projects faster, at a lower cost, and with zero emissions during operations. The innovative design also means smoother maintenance and facilities can easily be adapted for future needs.

Merit’s breadth of technological expertise in cleanroom and high containment laboratory construction has also been applied to address issues with circulation of infections in hospitals. This is even more important given the Covid-19 pandemic and the expected emergence of other communicable diseases in the future.

Tony Wells, Managing Director at Merit, said: “The NHS will undergo a major upgrade of its estates, including the 40 hospitals programme and it is 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’ 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,” he added.

Building on the company’s long-standing expertise, Merit Health’s offering also ideally suits the needs of facilities requiring superior infection control and containment, such as vaccine manufacture and advanced therapy units.