The Wates Group is using the combined expertise of its construction division and specialist engineering business, SES Engineering Services (SES), to help boost the number of hospital beds available in London for patients with COVID-19.

The family-owned British business, which specialises in constructionproperty services, and residential development, has been awarded an emergency special project by the NHS to redevelop two dormant floors of the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Work began onsite on Monday, 30 March with operatives from Wates Construction and SES, supported by sub-contractors and key suppliers, working around the clock to complete the project within six weeks, with many having to live away from their homes and families for its duration.

Over the following weeks, the team will install ceilings and floors; new cubicles, toilets, plumbing and ventilation; as well as all utilities, electrical and fire protection systems. The space was left empty when the hospital was opened in 2012 to allow for future service expansion.

Paul Chandler, Group Managing Director of Wates Construction Group, which is co-ordinating the response said:

The scale of the national response needed to tackle COVID-19 is immense and we must all do what we can to play our part. For this project, we are drawing on a range of in-house expertise from across the Wates Group, from our fit out and building services specialists in Wates Construction, to our engineering, electrical and plumbing experts in SES. Combined with our key supply chain partners, who have dropped everything to join us, we are determined to complete this project as soon as possible.

Work like this demonstrates how essential construction and engineering continues to be during this crisis. We are proud to be supporting the Royal London, helping their medical teams to provide the vital additional care London is likely to need over the coming weeks and months.

Paul Chandler
Group Managing Director, Wates Construction Group