Arup develops upgrades to St Thomas Hospital, London

04 March 2016 Consultancy.uk

Arup has successfully completed its role in the work to develop the East Wing of St Thomas' Hospital in London. Through an innovative ‘double skin’ the hospital has been able to add two lifts to transfer patients more effectively between A&E and the intensive care units and in-patient wards in the East Wing, as well as adding additional environmental and wellbeing aspects to the building.

St Thomas' Hospital traces its history back to between 1173 and 1215. The hospital was originally located in Becket, and named after St Thomas Becket. The hospital provided sanctuary and treatment for the poor, sick, and homeless. In 1862 the hospital was relocated from Southwark following the compulsory allocation of the site for the construction of the Charing Cross Railway viaduct. The hospital has been located at its present site, in Lambeth near Lambeth Palace, since 1871, and is administered by the Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust. Today, the hospital is a prominent London landmark, due to its central location – however, its patient facilities have in recent years fallen behind the world class standard and its façade has not aged well.

Arup’s role in the renovation of the East Wing of St Thomas' Hospital focused on the development of a number of innovative designs to refurbish the hospital wing’s facilities, while its 200 beds remained operational. Through the development of a new façade to the building that acts as a ‘double skin’, this double cladding improved waterproofing and a host of energy efficiency benefits were added to the building. The cladding further created space for a number of additional features, including two lifts to transport patients between the building’s 13 floors; that improve the transfer from the hospital’s A&E department to the intensive care units, improves the transport of in-patient wards in East Wing, as well as two bright and airy atria. The last feature provides ample light and space for patients, staff and visitors' wellbeing.

St Thomas Hospital

Steve McGuire, Director of Essentia, Guy’s and St Thomas’ says: “East Wing is home to some of the most important clinical services at St Thomas’, caring for some of our sickest patients. The rationale for the East Wing project was simple – the building was leaking, it wasn’t energy efficient, and the lifts to take patients from A&E to intensive care and wards were not fit for purpose, and so a complete overhaul was needed. Improving our infrastructure without disrupting patient care is a key priority and we are very proud that the East Wing project was completed without cancelling any appointments or treatment.”

Patricia Johnstone, Director and UKMEA board member, Arup says: “Our challenge was to help develop a cost-effective, buildable design for a highly complex and constrained site. We needed to thoroughly renew the exterior of East Wing without disrupting the building’s intensive care units and wards. Arup’s team of building, façade, geotechnical and fire engineers are proud to have contributed to the creation of a better functioning and more attractive East Wing – one that clearly offers an improved environment for patients and staff.”

Other professional services firm that were part of the project included Hopkins Architects and ISG.

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How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

11 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Amey Consulting has leveraged data insights to assist Network Rail with the improvement of its South-Eastern route. Using the Quartz tool, which monitors train movement, Network Rail will now be able to commit to data-enabled interventions to quickly improve underperforming train stations.

With rail services in the UK coming under strain from the demands of modern commuter life, while the infrastructure and service delivery of the nation’s railways has come in for sustained criticism in recent years, a period of regeneration is on the cards at last. Network Rail is the owner and infrastructure manager of most of the railway network in Great Britain, and has subsequently tapped the consulting industry on a regular basis to help find areas of improvement.

The group recently drafted in consultancy BearingPoint to conduct a thorough organisational evaluation and advise Network Rail (High Speed) on attaining a ‘fit for purpose’ organisational standard – for which the consultancy was nominated at the 2019 MCA Awards. Meanwhile, ArupArcadis and Aecom have been contracted to help Colas Rail and Babcock Rail implement a decade-long framework for Network Rail, aimed at supporting the delivery of the next generation of rail systems, with the contracts said to be worth as much as £5 billion

How data insights helped Network Rail improve the South-East route

As Network Rail further aims to improve its performance and customer service offering, another area it has sought help from the consulting sector for is its South-East route. The network of railways connects London with the southern parts of the country, as well as with Europe, making it the busiest in the country, with more than 500 million passenger journeys per year. This crucial expanse of rail was plagued with small minute delays, which were impacting millions of passengers every day, while reducing the efficiency and capacity of the overall network – something Amey Consulting was selected to help solve.

Amey Consulting soon determined that with the sub-threshold delays to services only lasting for 1 or 2 minutes, most were not the subject of detailed root cause analysis, and this made their corrections almost impossible – with dire consequences. Without addressing these delays, passenger satisfaction would fall, while the capacity and efficiency of the network would be reduced, stinging the income of Network Rail even before a host of delay-related fines would hit the company.

In order to help the client gain a better understanding of where, how, when and what these small delays occur, Amey Consulting looked to demonstrate the value of data-led consulting, with a significant reduction in delays within the first month of rolling out changes to key stations. The consultants embedded themselves in Network Rail’s team, helping them learn the key skills needed to support and apply data-driven solutions.

Agile transport

This involved the deployment of the Quartz tool. The system utilises to-the-second train movement data to present the performance of individual stations across the South-East route. It allows users to effortlessly understand station performance with a high level of detail, and use this information to identify losses caused by small-minute delays. The granular data allows for targeted actions to drive efficiency savings and performance improvements. More importantly, it allows users to understand the impact of small process changes on performance. 

Steve Dyke, an Executive Partner at Amey Consulting, said of the project, “We looked to identify the physical root cause on the infrastructure, building a case for change then managing that project implementation and tracking the benefit/value.  In doing so we are working to define a data performance improvement service to the operational and infrastructure owners.”

Just as important for the project as the technology, however, was teaching the Network Rail team how to leverage it after the consultants were gone. The Amey Consulting team worked to develop an agile working culture within Network Rail’s South-East division, helping staff to be confident in using data to improve the journeys of millions of people per year by attacking the problem from the ground up.

Dyke concluded, “This is less about the tools and about the approach to managing performance.  It meant using by-the-second analysis, data science, and then agile development to visualise and identify areas where improvements can be made.  We then worked with NR to change the way they approached the management of the infrastructure changes.  So rather than pass the information down the value chain, any of which could have been missed, we managed the change end-to-end.”

The project was so successful that Amey Consulting was also among those honoured at the recent MCA Awards. The firm scooped the Performance Improvement in the Public Sector prize for its work with Network Rail, at the 2019 ceremony in London.