Merit delivers major milestone for Solihull hospital project

Northumberland-based Merit, the UK’s leading industrialised construction and digital manufacturing specialist, has delivered a major milestone for the new £25 million Elective Hub (Operating Theatre Block) at Solihull Hospital, designed to significantly enhance patient care and treatment capacity.

The project has recently seen the transportation and delivery of five crucial Air Handling Unit (AHU) PODs and two Substation PODs to the site, from Merit’s factory in Cramlington, which have since been lifted into position.

A 500T crane was used to lift the 30 tonne AHU PODs and the 35 tonne Substation PODs onto the hospital roof, a logistical feat underscoring the technical complexities and innovative solutions deployed in this project. The installation marks a pivotal phase in the project’s timeline, which is due for completion later this year.

The project, led by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), will include the provision of a two-storey building, encompassing six high-quality operating theatres and supporting services.

Merit’s FLEXI POD® solution is central to this initiative, with 81% of the build manufactured offsite at the company’s Cramlington-based facility. The approach expedites construction and also significantly reduces the environmental impact, aligning with sustainable construction practices.

Tony Wells, CEO at Merit, said: “With waiting lists at record highs, we are really proud to be supporting the NHS with this landmark contract, which will allow a significant number of people access to the treatment they need.

“This latest milestone in the project is a significant step toward the completion of the surgery hub and reflects the speed and efficiency, which is central to Merit’s unique approach.”

When handed over to UHB in June 2024, the new hub is expected to facilitate an additional 11,500 treatments annually, significantly boosting elective procedure capacity at Solihull Hospital. This project demonstrates innovative construction techniques but also a step forward for Merit’s reach into healthcare infrastructure, with similar projects underway in Berwick and Norfolk.