Landmark provides free environment checks on Nightingale hospitals

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Envirocheck reports, Landmark information

Landmark provided free Envirocheck reports to 66 Works Group Royal Engineer carrying out an evaluation of environmental factors to consider in the design of NHS Nightingale hospitals in Birmingham, Manchester and Cardiff

Landmark Information Group provided, at no cost, specialists of 66 Works Group Royal Engineers with Envirocheck reports of the location of the Birmingham and Manchester Nightingales and Cardiff’s Dragon’s Heart Hospital.

These reports allowed a rapid evaluation of environmental issues to consider in repurposing exhibition centres and a stadium for use as hospitals.

Envirocheck assesses a huge wealth of both historic and current data – including data from each location as far back as 1851 in order to fully assess how the land has been utilised over time.

Risk assessment

An important consideration for the hospital sites was to consider not only conventional flood risk but to assess how solid and liquid wastes resulting from medical practices would need to be managed – and ultimately disposed of – without endangering the wider environment.

Given the considerable use of water by Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and the potential for public water supplies being interrupted or overwhelmed the potential for constructing on-site groundwater abstraction, wells were evaluated.

The environmental issues were passed on to site selection decision-makers and the engineering reconnaissance teams to support their work.

These evaluations were carried out over a weekend whilst working from home, under the lockdown confinements in place at the time. Having rapid access to the Envirocheck reports for each location allowed useful information to be accessed and interpreted at a time when travel and access to physical repositories of information was simply not possible.

The speed of the evaluation – three sites evaluated within just one day – would not have been possible, even if travel had been possible.

At the end of May, the Nightingale and Dragon hospitals were either mothballed or only looking after a small number of patients. The initial wave of Covid-19 was under control and, thankfully, the NHS was not overwhelmed.

However, the capacity these hospitals give us will be there to protect the NHS during any subsequent spikes in Covid-19 patients as the country continues to emerge from lockdown.

Paul Nathanail, technical director for contaminated land, GHD led this project with Landmark.

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