April 2020 – with Guernsey already in lockdown and the first COVID-19 cases occurring in Jersey, the gravity of the impending public health crisis was becoming evident to Jersey’s Government (GoJ) and Health policy makers.
Sir Robert McAlpine, Garenne and FES are three family-owned business that have a longstanding working relationship in Jersey which has been strengthened with the formation of J3 Ltd a joint venture put together to tender for healthcare projects but the Board of J3 instructed the bid team to refocus and support the GoJ in the rapid development of a Nightingale hospital.
3rd April – the team were briefed with GoJ Department representatives to oversee GoJ’s response to Covid-19. By the end of the call, we were invited to join the team with the overall aim of delivering a fully functioning 180 bed Nightingale Hospital by the 4th May 2020.
Unlike the UK, Jersey had no building with appropriate infrastructure that was suitable therefore a field hospital was chosen.
Between the 4th – 9th April our team led to establish, design and scope requirements, site selection, sourcing a temporary modular structure, project governance, design and technical specifications, budget, procurement and identifying the FF&E requirements.
The proposal was presented by Marc Burton (J3) to Competent Authorities Ministers and Emergency Council (equivalent to COBRA in the UK) and received unanimous support to proceed with a total budget of £13.2m including all FF&E, with a build programme of 25 days for completion on 4th May 2020.
We started at 7am on Good Friday, 10th April. The following videos show the progress of the project: –
During the build, we inducted 541 people on site. All but 20 were local Jersey residents, providing significant benefits to the economy and community during a lockdown, supported by an army of helpers providing food and beverages to the site, materials, procurement etc to allow the 24/7 operation to succeed. The most important community project ever seen in Jersey post war was successfully completed as planned in just 25 days on the 4th May 2020 with the unit officially opened by HRH Prince Edward on the 11th May 2020. Project Director, Marc Burton and Chief Nurse, Rose Naylor explain the story through their experiences here: https://youtu.be/iRO6bW7Tmng
Many people worked for free, provided free support, the community was fully engaged, and we were able to support several charities with financial contributions.
In this time the J3 team brought the best practice from its partner’s involvement in five quite different UK Nightingales, managed the complex procurement logistics of Jersey’s unique maritime context, delivered a ‘field’ hospital, and achieved a never seen before level of collaboration and co-operation between the islands skilled, but small-scale supplier and subcontractor base, to ensure that Jersey’s Nightingale Wing was bespoke for the Island’s needs, and delivered at pace for Jersey people, by Jersey people.
Marc’s leadership of the project was recognised in the 2021 New Year’s Honours when he was awarded an MBE.