Innovative mobile spaces to meet every need, whatever the sector

Bence deliver audiology, endoscopy and diagnostic support units for Care UK.

Care UK
7th September, 2007

When confronted with a contract to support diagnostic services for the whole of the West Midlands, Ian Simpson – Head of Architecture and Design at Care UK – realised that the only solution was to go mobile.

With requirements for a range of diagnostic screening and scanning services to cover 40 sites and less than 20 operational days available at each site annually, Ian also knew that any mobile solution would have to be reliable, flexible and easy to set up and remove. He turned to Bence for the answers.

Focusing on Audiology and Endoscopy, X-ray and DEXA, but adding support vehicles for the MRI and CT scanners as well, the overall project posed major logistical challenges, and each unit presented unique design issues as well.

“It was obvious we could only do this with stand-alone units which had their own power, water and no drainage”, explains Simpson. “We also only received funding in December 2006 and had to locate suitable sites, commission, design, build and test the vehicles and have everything up and running by May 2007. But we were confident we could achieve this”.

As for the design challenges, Bence were presented with a tough brief. The mobile units had to be able to connect together and yet present a totally integrated feel internally and be environment-proof, so that staff and patients moving from reception to the clinical areas did not have a sense of moving from one trailer to another. Bence designed a unique interconnecting doorway system which overcame this problem, support vehicles and clinical units to be interchanged as required.

The individual trailers also provided Bence’s designers and fabricators with some of the most difficult hurdles they had faced, but they overcame them in style. The Endoscopy unit required a full operating theatre, space for recovery beds and separate dirty, wash and sterile areas for the equipment, with an internal water supply that could handle 1000 litres of water each day.

For the audiologly unit, silence was more than golden – it was critical. Working with the Industrial Acoustic Company Bence created “floating”, sound-proof booths – an industry first – that Simpson describes as “frighteningly quiet”, even with the internal generator in operation. In fact, Stoke PCT were so impressed that the units’ workload has been significantly increased since they went into service.

For Ian Simpson, and Care UK, Bence have delivered just what the doctor ordered. “Bence really understand the needs of the end user. As you sit in the waiting room and look out of the trailer window, you feel that you’re looking out of a building with a balcony. The standard Bence works to – particularly in its cabinet-making – is better than in some of the fixed site developments I have seen.”

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