Royal Stoke University Hospital

Building Use

Operating Theatre

Project Duration

16 weeks

Procurement Method


Why hire from Portakabin

Project Features

  • 56 in-patient beds as single ensuite rooms and four-bed ward bays
  • Two large, state-of-the-art clean air theatres for all orthopaedic procedures
  • Theatre recovery room
  • Clean and dirty utilities
  • Reception
  • Staff changing room
  • Offices
  • Kitchenette
  • 33-person ‘crash team’ lift
  1. The Requirements

    To facilitate the transfer of orthopaedic services to Royal Stoke University Hospital, the Trust had an urgent requirement for a highly complex, 4,200m2 interim ward and theatre building.

    The purpose-designed scheme would occupy a constrained site immediately adjacent to the main hospital and would be in use for the next five years.

  2. The Solution

    A modular solution from Portakabin Hire was developed to fast track construction and to deliver a high quality, fully fitted building in less than four months. The structure was installed in only 18 days to minimise disruption to patient care.

    The project challenges:

    • This was a highly challenging project in terms of scale, logistics, difficult access for vehicles and the extremely close proximity of existing wards which had to remain operational throughout.
    • To minimise disruption, Portakabin maximised work off site wherever possible. The modular solution allowed the building structure to be installed complete with wall finishes, internal partitioning, mechanical and electrical services, and flooring already in place to further reduce the programme time.
    • During the cranage phase, Portakabin managed and maintained access for 200 students to the adjacent Keele University Medical School and co-ordinated operations with West Midlands Air Ambulance for inbound emergency patients.
    • The building installation involved detailed logistical planning and a 350-tonne crane on a highly restricted site close to a busy road.

Helping to Enhance Patients’ Experience

Commenting on the project, John Simpson, Director of Corporate Services at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust said, “This type of construction allowed us to benefit from a much shorter delivery programme so we could have the new facility up and running more quickly, meeting the increasing demand for services and enhancing patients’ experience.”

“Whilst the building is constructed to permanent standards, its modular construction gives us greater flexibility as the facilities can be dismantled and removed if service needs change.”

“The facilities have been very well received by patients and staff. There is excellent light, space, décor and infection control. Portakabin successfully installed the building next to the main hospital with minimal impact on service provision. This required detailed logistical planning and the whole installation operation was carried out with military precision by a superb site team. The final design is extremely good and Portakabin was flexible and accommodating throughout.”

Jeanette Carter, Royal Stoke Ward Manager, said, “The overall design and layout of the building are fantastic and the interior is very welcoming. We have a lot more space, particularly around beds, to facilitate patient contact and to accommodate any equipment we need. Everything fits into the ward space really well and there is better storage. The wards are airy and the design features – such as integral blinds for the windows – make infection control much easier. We also have more side rooms available which help to reduce waiting times. There has been a lot of positive feedback from staff and patients since we moved into the new building.”

We had an extremely tight timescale to deliver this complex healthcare building for the relocation of clinical services – but I am delighted to report that this was achieved and we would definitely recommend Portakabin modular solutions to other healthcare providers.

John Simpson, Director of Corporate Services, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust

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