Workplace Experience: Non-office / Corporate Environment 2020


12 Day Mobilisation of all FM Services at NHS Nightingale North-West, Interserve Group

Workplace Experience: Non-office / Corporate Environment 2020

As part of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Manchester Central Complex, a former railway station, was transformed into a hospital capable of caring for up to 750 COVID-19 patients.

Interserve was commissioned to deliver all hard and soft FM services on site, mobilising all critical services in just 12 days to enable staff to work safely in hygienic conditions.

Services within the scope included cleaning, portering, catering, M&E maintenance, security and a Helpdesk. In order to deliver the services on this ‘no fail’ project, and because of the high-risk nature of the work involved, the service provider also needed to implement a health and safety procedures training programme while inducting more than 400 members of Interserve staff and in excess of 1,000 site staff.

Interserve created all the required training modules in four days, training 325 people within one week – a combined 3,900 hours of training.

The company was also required to implement IT support systems such as setting up a 4G network on site, setting up and installing required hardware such as phones and printers and setting up an IT engineer on site. Interserve launched a fully operational CAFM system with specialist provider FSI in days; the process on this scale would normally take up to 12 weeks.

Laundry in particular was a critical service line that was more complex than traditional hospital environments. Due to a national shortage of NHS scrubs, the team needed to utilise a system with minimum wastage, regularly communicating with supply partners about visits, collection and delivery.

The catering team was required to prepare and deliver 1,500 patient meals and 2,000 staff meals per day. Interserve’s catering business, Autograph Food, deployed a team to site 24 hours after being asked to support the operation. 115 catering staff were recruited at short notice.

The hard services provision handover, including heating, ventilation and cooling systems, fire alarms and plant maintenance, was organised in days, rather than the typical six months for a project of this size.

Best practice

Initially Interserve’s brief was broad and lacked detail, due to the timeframe, and due to the government reacting to an ongoing crisis.

Interserve’s approach throughout was to support the NHS in any way it could, while responding to changes and refining its scope in an efficient manner. To do this on an FM contract with many services, each work stream lead was responsible for developing service output.

Critical decisions made quickly and clearly – an aspect of the project that Interserve puts down to the entire project team having a shared goal of ensuring the site was operational for when the first patient was admitted.

Twitter: @Interserve