Artic Building Services have recently been awarded a three-year Planned Preventative Maintenance contract covering the HVAC equipment at the Royal Brompton Hospital and the Harefield Hospital together, forming the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust.
Artic have been an approved supplier of HVAC contracted services to the trust for a number of years. RB&H NHS Trust are aware of the high-level service by Artic to their acute services. Artic treat all of our NHS Trust and hospital clients the same. We are aware of the urgent nature of works required and the pressure placed upon Estates staff in these pressurised environments. This is why using dedicated Management and Administration we try to reduce the burden placed upon estates and end users so that necessary works are carried out in a planned fashion but with the ability to adapt and change planned works to accommodate the needs of the site, even last minute. We understand that working in live and acute areas of a hospital may result in change of plans to ensure the staff and patrons of the site are not affected and more importantly that the life saving activities they carry out face no additional challenges.
The three-year contract which was awarded again to Artic after a competitive tender process, is testament to the level of service received at the sites, and we are proud to continue our working partnership with trust until late 2021.
In the current economic climate, we are all aware of the increasing pressure on NHS Trust budgets and the need for commercial competitiveness and cost control has never been greater. Any service provider to the NHS must balance cost competitiveness with delivering the highest quality service level rightly demanded by the best Health Service in the world. Long and consistent experience in the Healthcare industry enables Artic to find that balance, successfully win competitive tenders and realise industry-leading levels of service.
Central London hospitals such as RB&H NHS Trust present certain specific challenges regarding FM cover and Artic proved well able to work with the Trust to take the professional and flexible approaches necessary to ensure their HVAC equipment is properly maintained and serviced.
At the centre of any service contract for the NHS is the requirement to understand that a hospital is a 24/7 live environment. Through experience gained over many years in the Healthcare industry, a team of engineers were assigned to the contract with the right skillsets for the range of HVAC equipment covered. Significant previous experience of working on Central London NHS sites was crucial. With this team in place, RB&H NHS Trust could be satisfied that the Artic on-site engineers understood the need for cleanliness and discretion within the hospital and had the flexibility of approach to deal with the access issues and last-minute changes which go with the territory of service in a vibrant and busy hospital.
To match the Trusts’ requirement for service, Artic have ensured that all engineers working on the hospital sites are fully conversant with the enhanced regimes of HTM guidelines, most particularly those of HTM03-01 concerning critical heating and ventilation of health sector buildings. Formal training has been undertaken and extended to ensure that Artic engineers are capable of maintaining and servicing all the HVAC equipment across the two hospitals to the high standards expected. Under the contract, the RB&H NHS Trust benefit from experiences gained from other healthcare sector sites from which knowledge and good practice is transferred. The Trust are confident that current regulations concerning CAT 1 to 3 laboratory environments, Biological ventilation, Extraction and LEV equipment are considered and covered within the contract deliverance.
Looking back to the importance of cost control for the Trust, the flexibility previously referred to needs to come with a minimal or no cost premium. Here, the dedicated Contract management and Administration team set up to run the contract has a major role to play in reacting to the last-minute changes or urgent items required which is part and parcel of NHS service coverage. The Artic philosophy of aligning certain management teams to certain market sectors not only reflects the experience and competence of the managers and administrators but also the care Artic takes to ensure that suitably qualified and experienced individuals with the correct skillsets work on the contract. With this set-up, a robust and comprehensive PPM plan was developed during the contract mobilisation phase, in full consultation with Trust’s Estates and localised department staff.
RB&H NHS Trust have been fully appreciative of the unique Central London support network which Artic are able to offer in providing rapid and professional responses to reactive calls and repairs required at the hospitals. Artic have built up a distinctive and varied portfolio of London sites serviced by residential engineer teams, some operating 24/7. With engineers constantly in Central London, Artic can respond to emergencies at the Hospitals within very short time-spans by diverting residential engineers from other sites to the Hospitals in the event of a significant problem. Artic have also established several Central London parts support hubs where parts are held for a range of HVAC equipment and can be sourced for reactive/repair work even outside of normal working hours.
As a specialist Heart and Lung/Respiratory hospital, the RB&H NHS Trust is world renowned for providing care for patients who, by the nature of their illness, can be adversely affected by the environment around them. This set the tone for the Artic approach to the tender to maintain and service the HVAC equipment at the two hospital sites. It was very important to take full consideration of every facet of the Trusts requirements and to be diligent in making sure that the service level required could be properly delivered and realised.