Hospital and medical centre building 'rising in UK'
15 March 2012
Posted by Satvir Bhullar
The rate at which hospitals and medical centres are being built in the UK has increased, new data show.
According to statistics published by analyst Glenigan, the construction industry saw an eight per cent increase in the underlying value of health scheme starts.
In addition, the company noted the main drivers of the rise were nursing homes and hospital work, with values becoming more concentrated in the south of England over the year, as new project figures fell in Scotland, Wales and the north of England during the same period.
This is despite the ongoing debate about the future of the NHS and a cut in the Department for Health's capital budget of a fifth during the 2011-12 financial year compared with the previous 12 months.
As a result of the growth in medical and hospital construction activity, there may be greater demand in the UK for Eurocodes building and civil engineering standards in order to ensure quality structures are produced, particularly in the south of England where demand continues to be concentrated.
However, this year could see a drop in activity, as James Abrahan, Glenigan Economist, remarked: "Looking forward to this year, I am highly sceptical that the national growth in health starts will continue. The underlying value of planning approvals fell by 24 per cent over 2011, and this is one good indication that the reductions in government funding is restricting the development pipeline."
A new health sector building project in south Wales could see welding standards in demand as construction is due to commence later this month on a £9.5 million development in Swansea.
The HealthVision Swansea initiative will see new premises built on a hospital site, with around 200 tonnes of steel to be delivered to the location ahead of work starting on the Morriston Hospital complex.
A new combined specialist rehabilitation unit is to be created, which could be occupied by early next year.