St Helier Hospital is about to undergo a huge £12 million project to improve the comfort of patients, reduce carbon emissions and strengthen the exterior of the hospital.

The multi-million pound project will focus on B and C blocks of the hospital, and will see 133 windows replaced, the roof repaired and newly insulated, and a new 10 centimetre concrete render (which meets the highest fire safety standards) added to the outside of the building. The main work will begin in the coming weeks, but patients and visitors to the hospital are already likely to notice signs of scaffolding, contractors and building materials.

Chief Executive Daniel Elkeles, said: “This is the biggest single improvement project St Helier Hospital has undergone in years, and it’s absolutely fantastic news for our patients, visitors and staff.

“As anyone who has been to St Helier recently will know, some of our walls appear damaged and worn. Obviously, that means St Helier doesn’t look as nice as it could, but more importantly, it means that we are not properly protected from the elements.

“As winter sets in, our hospitals become harder to heat and cost a huge amount of money to keep warm enough for our patients – the new windows, render and roof will mean we can banish the draughts, keep out the damp and stop heat escaping. It will mean huge costs savings for us, while at the same time, help to protect the environment and keep everyone in our buildings safe and warm.”

Although the project will safeguard St Helier against the elements for many years to come (and the new rendering system will keep the hospital looking fresh and new), the scale of the work will cause some disruption. The project will last for approximately 18 months, and will result in some noise, dust and a large portion of the building will be covered by scaffolding (in fact, it’s estimated that the project will need more than 805 tonnes of scaffolding and more than four miles of scaffolding boards).

The Estates Team are working hard to keep that disruption to an absolute minimum, and would like to apologise in advance for any inconvenience. Trevor Fitzgerald, Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Projects, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be beginning a project of this size and scale at St Helier, and are looking forward to starting the improvements. Before the new waterproof exterior can be installed, the contractors need to put up scaffolding across the two blocks, and begin to inspect the steel infrastructure. This is likely to be one of the noisiest phases of the work, and so we would like to apologise in advance.

“We will make sure work doesn’t start before 8am and will end at 6pm, and will ensure that there at least two hour-long periods every day when noisy work stops. We’ll be working with our teams out on the wards and listening to patient feedback to help keep any disruption to a minimum during this essential work.

“This is a huge project, and although it will take a while for work to be completed, the improvements to our buildings will definitely make it worthwhile. This will mark a welcome end to the cracked and peeling B and C blocks, and will give us a rejuvenated St Helier for our patients and staff.”

For more information about the project, please email sthelierfacelift@esth.nhs.uk.