Laing O’Rourke’s healthcare sector expertise helped deliver Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary in record time

Dumfries and Galloway
Dumfries, Scotland
At a glance

As part of the Scottish Government’s £2bn investment in health infrastructure, Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary has transformed healthcare in the region, providing patients with local, high quality acute facilities. Today, it is one of NHS Scotland’s best performing buildings in terms of hospital acquired infection rates.

The High Wood Health consortium (comprising Laing O’Rourke and Aberdeen Asset Management as joint equity partners) was selected to deliver the new hospital in the spring of 2015. The new 63,000m2 hospital would replace the existing one, and be located on farmland on the outskirts of Dumfries.

The hospital has 344 single occupancy bedrooms, inpatient treatment and surgical suites, emergency and ambulatory care centres, specialist oncology, maternity and paediatric facilities, as well as staff residences, a helipad and 980 parking spaces.

Using MMC
A modern hospital requires innovative construction and design techniques to help deliver programme and quality certainty for the client. Our sector-leading experience of modern methods of construction (MMC) was a key factor in our appointment as NHS Dumfries & Galloway’s preferred construction partner, and enabled the successful delivery of the project. Our digital engineering expertise resulted in a streamlined approval process during delivery, faster transfer of information to our manufacturing facilities and the rapid delivery of high-quality components.

Deputy Project Leader Phil Maher explained: “Digital engineering is crucial in such a highly modular build, where the fit-out is complex. There are miles of ducting and services in the operating theatres, for example. We also had to be sure that all the pre-manufactured elements aligned during installation. That was all co-ordinated through digital engineering.

“One of the key lessons learned from the Alder Hey project was that it’s important to simplify and speed up the fitting out process if possible. Early engagement with the client allowed us to change the sequence of the fit-out and ensure it was designed more effectively up front.”

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The quality of our hospital is remarkable. It was opened in 2017 and from day one has transformed how we provide healthcare in this region.

Owing to the design and workmanship standards, we have next to zero infection spread in the hospital.

Julie White Chief Operations Officer, Dumfries and Galloway royal infirmary

Working closely with the local community
Construction also brought a range of social and economic benefits to the region, with 66% of our workforce living within daily travel of the site. We worked in close partnership with the local college to help it restart its BTEC Level 3 Construction Technician course, and provided 75% of their course intake with work placements. During construction, 40 apprenticeships were also created.

The result
Digital engineering, innovation and offsite manufacturing helped to deliver this hospital five months faster than could be achieved with traditional methods – and on time, in line with the programme agreed at the outset.

The application of MMC methods and early engagement with the client resulted in increased efficiency on site, keeping the project on track.

Dumfries & Galloway Royal Infirmary is a world-class facility, and a great example of our healthcare sector delivery capability. Its impressive clinical and operational performance since it opened has helped it become one of the best hospitals in Scotland, and demonstrates why Laing O’Rourke is now a contractor of choice for NHS Health Boards and Trusts all over the UK.