Construction firm delivering £13m-worth of medical projects

CGI of Leigh Community Diagnostic and Surgery Centre

Lancashire construction firm, Carefoot, is delivering a second medical contract following the recent delivery of a similar project.

The Preston-based company has started work on a £6.4m new endoscopy unit in Wigan.

It recently completed a £6.5m project at nearby Leigh to build a new surgery theatre and community diagnostic centre in recent weeks.

The two hospital extensions are being delivered by Carefoot for Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and will improve diagnosis, reduce waiting times and increase care capacity across the Wigan borough.

Carefoot is principal contractor for the endoscopy unit at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan and began on site at the end of January this year following planning approval.

Endoscopy is the medical process of diagnosing diseases and conditions by looking inside the body. The project involves the construction of a four-storey steel frame extension to the hospital’s Grade II-listed façade as well as major refurbishment works to the current ground floor unit, totalling around 1,400 sq m.

The project at Leigh Infirmary involved the construction of a 1,350 sq m new build extension to the hospital to build a new elective theatre and community diagnosis centre, which is now welcoming its first patients after completion in December 2023.

Richard Mundon, director of strategy and planning at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “These developments will certainly help to futureproof our facilities, address the expected increases in population demand and play a significant role in reducing health inequalities across the Wigan borough.

“This can only lead to improved outcomes for our patients across a wide range of services, which is fantastic news for us as a trust, but also the wider community.”

The two projects have been funded with £11.9m funding from NHS England which was granted to the Trust in October 2023 and is aimed at reducing patient waiting times.

Colin Carefoot, Carefoot chief executive, said: “As a company, we have been working with the NHS on healthcare construction projects for over 70 years and in addition to these two major extensions, which will improve healthcare capacity across the Wigan borough, we’re currently involved in multiple hospital projects across the North West.

“Working on healthcare projects brings unique issues – the project at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan is particularly challenging as the extension is adjacent to three live areas of a very busy hospital. However, our team has the experience and knowledge to manage the construction process in a way which minimises the impact on the trust and its patients.”

The Wigan endoscopy unit was designed by Manchester-based DAY Architectural and is expected to be completed in summer 2025. O Neil and Partners, Bradshaw Gass & Hope, and Pettit Singleton Associates are consultants on the project.

It will improve the trust’s ability to save lives through the early detection of a wide range of medical issues. Currently, the second, third and fourth floors of the extension have not been assigned to a department of the hospital, but will further increase the hospital’s care capacity in the coming years.

The new community diagnostic centre and elective theatre at Leigh Infirmary are part of a raft of plans from the Trust to modernise the facilities and increase capacity.

Elective surgery is the term for surgery which is scheduled in advance. The new unit will improve elective theatre capacity at the hospital by 25%. The new community diagnostic centre will improve Leigh Infirmary’s capacity to deliver medical tests such as X-rays, CT and MRI scans which are currently carried out at Wigan.

The project has been designed by Chorley-based architects Gilling Dod. Consultants on the project included Steven A Hunt & Associates, Sutcliffe and Rider Hunt.