At the beginning of April, Redcentric were asked if we could support with increasing bandwidth at our customers’ site – the Harrogate Conference centre – to provide for the newly created NHS Nightingale Hospital. At the same time, we were asked if cabling for over 500 beds could be provided within just 2 weeks’ time. Our cabling partner ACI Integrated Solutions responded immediately to the challenge and after speaking to the project manager at the site, they committed to getting the job done.
ACI have been working with Redcentric for 8 years, installing cabling which connects devices to network infrastructure. If you imagine a bicycle wheel with lots of spokes, each of those spokes represent communication channels to connect various pieces of equipment to the network. So, while many people might not think further than the physical side of constructing the patient bays, this work was very much part of the critical infrastructure needed to get the hospital operational.
Over 1,500 cables had to be installed into bedheads in each patient bay to connect vital monitoring systems, x-ray devices and other services the NHS wanted to deliver. After receiving a call at 10 to 9 on the Tuesday night before Easter, the initial deadline for completion of cabling for the first ward of around 100 beds was just 3 days later! Engineers worked Easter Friday and the following Saturday to complete the first ward.
To request the materials needed to complete the job, ACI put in a call to their supplier Connectix who were taking calls and responding over the Bank Holiday to ensure deliveries came out on time and the same day. With requirements changing on a regular basis, materials had to continually be ramped up to ensure the work could continue.
Then the following week, the other hospital areas which needed services had to be connected, so the cabling team followed closely on once the construction work and the electricians installing power and sockets had been completed.
Ian Quirk, Regional Manager commented “Amazingly, we got through 6 weeks of work in less than 2 weeks, using every engineer available to get the job done. The engineers were exemplary and did everything they possibly could to pull out all the stops. With no hotel accommodation available due to Covid, everyone was travelling from Manchester to Harrogate, back and forth on a daily basis, after working long hours at the Convention centre. The team were really fantastic.”
“The one thing that stood out to me was the willingness of all the different suppliers to work together to get the job done, regardless of who was responsible for what, we all worked on whatever needed to be done at the time. As the construction work was completed, the electricians installed the power and the containment for the sockets, then we started the cabling, working alongside another supplier for fibre optics. We all shared tasks so we could get it done as quickly as possible. It was very much a team effort.”