NHS group also wants to hear from technology, facade and M&E firms

The NHS trust looking to build a new hospital in Essex has started the process of finding firms to build it, saying it wants to hear from modular specialists in particular.

The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust was one of six to receive a share of £2.7bn of funding to build a new hospital last year as part of the first phase of the government’s health infrastructure plan (HIP). 

Princess Alexandra Hospital

The new hospital will be built on a greenfield site near the existing facility

A Prior Information Notice published to the Official Journal said: "The trust are currently developing their outline business case for the new hospital with the preferred way forward being to construct a new purpose-built hospital in a single phase on a greenfield site, at the new junction 7A of the M11. The trust expects the hospital to be completed by 2025.

"The trust is undertaking a period of pre-market engagement to explore the opportunity and delivery of modern methods of construction and a digitally enabled SMART hospital, with key specialists to inform the trust’s approach to the delivery of the project."

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The trust is looking to speak to specialists across the M&E, frame, facade, modular construction and technology sectors and will be holding a virtual pre-market engagement event on Thursday 22 October via Microsoft Teams. 

Firms have until 12 October to register their interest.

Earlier this year, the trust’s board has raised concerns about whether it will be able to find the right contractor to build the Harlow scheme.

It said: “There is a risk that the delivery of the new hospital will be delayed because of failure to engage with a suitable contractor or that the additional funding is not forthcoming.”

It said there was a “challenged contractor market and insufficient skills and capability”, adding there is also significant competition in the market due to a large number of HIP schemes already underway.

It also said there were concerns because of “high profile failures in hospital construction”. These include the two hospital projects in Liverpool and the West Midlands that were derailed by Carillion’s collapse almost three years ago.

Other projects part of the first phase of the HIP are Barts Health NHS Trust’s plans to build a new Whipps Cross University Hospital in north-east London and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust’s plans for a for a new St Helier Hospital in the capital’s south-west.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust’s plans for Leeds General Infirmary, the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust’s plans for the Leicester General and Leicester Royal sites, as well as the construction of a new Watford General hospital, are also sharing the £2.7bn funding pot.