Hospital building ‘expected to be completed later this year’ after water damage delay


A student accommodation and teaching facility building, initially scheduled to open at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in 2022, is now ‘expected to be completed later this year’ following a delay caused by water damage, the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust has confirmed.

The building, which was announced in in June 2021 and was expected to be fully operational from March 2022, promised to provide accommodation for up to 145 medical students and trainee doctors, plus an academic teaching building, so that students can live, learn and work close to their clinical placement.

However, last week, construction news service Construction Enquirer reported that a water leak had caused the building project’s two-year delay as it resulted in ‘mould’ and ‘dampness’ spreading throughout the building.

The Times approached the MTW NHS Trust and the project’s contractor ESS Modular for a clarification on the delay.

A spokesperson for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said: “Our medical accommodation and teaching building is an exciting project which will attract future generations of doctors and medical students who can live, learn and work close to their placement.

“Water damage has now been repaired and internal and external works are ongoing. We expect the building to be completed later this year.”

Contractors ESS Modular, declined to provide further comment.

Once completed, the ground floor of the six-storey building is expected to house an academic space – a learning hub, private study, offices and toilets – as well as two six-bedroom flats.

Floors one to five will be entirely student accommodation made up of six, five- or four-bed flats, all of which will have a communal kitchen, dining and living area and an ensuite attached to each bedroom.

In addition, eight wheelchair-accessible flats will be provided – two on each floor – from the first to the fourth floors.

The building is also set to be installed with solar panels, a green wall, and other sustainable features to ensure a Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) rating of excellence.

BREEAM is a voluntary green building sustainability rating system for assessing the environmental performance of buildings.

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