Diabetes Centre Staff

Making Royal Berkshire Hospital, COVID-19 secure


When the UK entered lockdown in March 2020 to help control the spread of COVID-19, the demand on healthcare was huge. As most people remained home, the roads, towns and cities were eerily quiet.

With the NHS busier than ever, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust had to simultaneously provide treatment for an unknown virus while safeguarding their staff and patients, particularly those classed as vulnerable.


Needing urgent help, the staff at Reading Hospital needed to protect their patients and staff from the virus. The clinical teams and Estates department needed to make numerous changes to the site very quickly.


LCMB immediately provided support in making those quick changes. We carried out an estate-wide workplace assessment of high-risk areas against COVID-19 to inform a scheme of works to make the hospital safer both for staff and patients. This resulted in:

  • Designing and installing floor signage across the hospital and its satellite sites, covering over two miles of corridor, to encourage a “keep left” system as well as to remind public and staff to wear face coverings
  • Installing additional sanitiser dispensers across the site, and long-term, durable screens in busy reception areas
  • Moving unneeded furniture into storage providing additional clinical space
  • Assist with solutions for temporary walls and barriers to enable facilities such as waiting rooms to come back online
  • Installing an outdoor hygiene/wash station for porters


  • A COVID-19 secure hospital environment
  • New welfare spaces for staff to help support them during times of high demands
  • Additional facilities, such as parking, catering and transportation

Challenges and Achievements

Working around a fast-paced clinical environment meant that certain actions were particularly challenging, such as:

  • Fast-tracking minor works within ICU to ensure that good working and care facilities were in place
  • Relocating clinics treating higher risk patients to reduce the risk of encountering any COVID-19 positive patients
  • Installing temporary rooms in certain clinical areas to create isolation spaces for COVID-19 positive patients
  • Improving security to oxygen and pharmacy storage because of the heightened pressures on certain pharmaceuticals and oxygen supplies
  • Fielding the vast amount of kind offers of help from the community and utilising those which the hospital had a need for, such as:
      • Catering for staff
      • Parking for staff
      • Digital signage
      • Temporary off-site accommodation
      • A temporary supermarket
      • Shuttle bus services from off-site car parks to the hospital

Many of the changes made were temporary, taking advantage of services that had moved off-site. We also supported the Trust in returning those services to the hospital, creating their “new normal”.

Our support and quick response enabled the hospital to safely deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, treating many patients for other illnesses and conditions in safety.

To date, LCMB continue to support the Trust with their COVID-19 response and their return to “normal”. The delay imposed by COVID-19 in the Construction industry and the delivery of works in general also means that LCMB are continuing their support in the delivery of significant and very necessary capital works.



“LCMB had been working as project managers within our capital programme when COVID-19 impacted the UK. They immediately offered the Trust their resources and support to help us respond. Their help was invaluable in reconfiguring our wards, buildings, estate and infrastructure to respond to the first wave of COVID-19 patients. Their team project managed the implementation and running of the additional welfare facilities and parking required to support our staff who had to work long hours, under difficult circumstances. Their team have also helped us to make our non-clinical workplaces and area’s at the hospital COVID secure.  Their team are continuing to support us with our capital programme and COVID secure requirements. We have enjoyed working with them and highly recommend John and the LCMB team.”

Tracey Middleton, Director of Estates & Facilities, Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust

Find out more

LCMB improves the financial and environmental sustainability of buildings and estates, and the productivity and well-being of the people using them. We do this by reducing building operating costs, energy used and improving building space and its’ utilisation. We offer Workplace Performance, Facilities Management, Project Management and Resource optimisation support.

Amongst others our clients include King’s College London, Birmingham Airport, Tata Technologies, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Bouygues Energies & Services.

Give us a call on:
01295 722 823

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