Fire damaged roof at Carmel GP surgery

Member Article

Architect Appointed to Fire Damaged Surgery

Fire damaged GP Surgery to be re-built

A GP surgery which was badly damaged by fire over the August Bank Holiday weekend is set to be rebuilt as an architect has now been appointed to do the necessary work to reinstate the building.

Architects, Howarth Litchfield have been appointed by doctors at the Carmel Medical Centre, Darlington to provide design services and act on behalf of the surgery to appoint a contractor to carry out the necessary construction work so that the surgery will once again be fully operational.

Due of the extent of the fire which rendered some parts of the surgery unusable, Carmel Medical Centre patients are currently being treated at facilities at Hundens Lane Rehabilitation Centre with GPs and nurses operating out of both the main building and Portacabins.

Howarth Litchfield was already familiar with the original two-storey building having previously worked on some improvement grants at the Surgery and was therefore the first port of call when the fire occurred. The practice’s ability to respond swiftly, led to its appointment. On this occasion, Howarth Litchfield will play a multi-discipline role, liaising with the loss adjusters, acting as CDM principal designer and providing both architectural and interior design services.

Howarth Litchfield’s surveyor, Andrew Wilson will undertake all survey work.

Speaking about the need for such a swift response Neil Turner, a director at Howarth Litchfield said:

“Having worked on a number of new build and renovation projects within healthcare, particularly for GP surgeries, we are fully aware of what is required from both a clinical and patient perspective to return the building to functioning fully. When an incident of this type occurs speed is of the essence to ensure that first and foremost the building is made safe and secondly, it is fully reinstated and returned to clinical compliance as soon as possible.

“The biggest challenge we face on this scheme is that of time. However, by working closely with the loss adjuster, surgery staff and the contractor we are working towards a reopening of the surgery early next year. “

With responsibility for more than 10,000 patients, according to Carmel Medical Centre’s practice manager, Karen Crook, Howarth Litchfield’s assistance to date has been invaluable.

“It was such a shock when the fire happened and apart from making the building safe, our first priority was to our patients and service users to ensure that we could continue to provide them with the full range of services that they rely on. We have worked with Neil and the team before, so I know we are in good hands and have every confidence that they will deliver the project in a timely fashion.

“We are currently operating out of two areas on the Hundens Lane facility and I would ask all patients attending appointments to listen carefully when speaking to staff to ensure that they go to the correct place. We also thank them for their patience during this time and look forward to moving back into our own building in due course.”

The project is currently out to tender and Howarth Litchfield are expected to announce the contractor shortly.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Leigh Chelton .

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