Royal opening for Defence Medical Centre at Whittington Barracks

A Crown House Technologies (CHt) business leader was presented to the Duchess of Cornwall at the opening of the Defence Medical Centre at Whittington Barracks, now the UK’s national centre of defence medicine.

The Duchess also toured the new facilities of Keogh Training Centre, including a training ward and classrooms, before attending a reception with around 200 other people, hosted by the Surgeon General of DMS Whittington, Air Marshal Paul Evans, where she was then introduced to Carillion MD Adam Green, and project director Paul Bird, and CHt regional leader Shaun Higgins.

The Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) decision to create a unified Defence Medical Services headquarters was taken in 2006. The project was delivered by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the MOD’s property and services provider, working with its industry partners. Building began on the site of the 19th century Whittington Barracks in 2010, when CHt was awarded the project by Carillion.

The CHt team was involved early in the design to survey and investigate services, and to assist in the development and planning of the project’s phases. Liaison with many client stakeholders for the different usages of buildings was undertaken and the security restrictions managed in respect to access, and transfer of restricted information. CHt delivered a £13m programme to design, install and commission the complete mechanical and electrical services scope, including significant upgrades to the site wide infrastructure.

This involved 14 new and refurbished buildings, and the complete site infrastructure replacement of security systems, IT systems, gas, water, HV, LV, and IT networks on a live and fully operational MoD facility. This included office accommodation, residential, recreational, technical areas, training areas, library and lecture theatres, and medical facilities. Around 1,000 military and civilian staff will eventually work at the barracks, at what is expected to become a centre of excellence for military medicine.

“CHt’s combined healthcare and defence sector experience and reputation for delivery was instrumental in the success of this project, and I’m particularly proud of the CHt team, led by Paul Slade, for their passion, commitment and performance” said Shaun. “The transformation of this historic military facility has been dramatic, and despite over 130 years of continuous use, the new medical centre has been constructed to 21st century standards and will serve our armed forces for many years to come.”

Paul Bird, project director for Carillion Building said “The team relationship between DIO, MoD, Carillion & CHt project staff had been instrumental in making the project a huge success”.