FWP delivers vaccination hubs as the North West’s COVID fight intensifies

Architecture, design and master planning practice Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has worked at pace to create the North West’s latest community vaccination centres as the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies.

FWP’s team of designers has helped to create centres across the region. The latest to open is in Preston city centre.

The mass vaccination centre has been set up in the former B&M store in the St John’s shopping centre.

It is set to vaccinate 2,000 people a day, the largest daily amount of all the Lancashire hubs.

FWP has also delivered a centre in Burnley, which has also started giving people their jabs. Based at The Mall on Charters Walk, it will vaccinate 1,000 local people daily.

Both these facilities have been designed and constructed from scratch in a matter of weeks.

FWP’s team also created the centre at Blackburn Cathedral, the first in Lancashire, which started its work last month with the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,700 people a day.

As well as designing the facilities, FWP has worked with Local Resilience Forums (LRF) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) and clinical teams to review locations and has overseen all the work on-site.

It has also worked closely with the project contractor Sencat to implement the numerous sites now in action across the North West of England.

The sites are part of the government’s national Covid-19 vaccination programme, which is seeing jabs rolled out across the population at an increasing pace.

David Simmons, associate partner and interior designer, has led the FWP team. He said of the Preston vaccination centre: “A number of sites and key locations were investigated within the city and its surrounding areas but the requirements were quite specific and this ticked all the boxes.

“The property directly faces the bus station and offers easy access with good transport links. It’s also well placed in Preston’s city centre.”

Looking at the overall vaccination sites project, he said: “We’ve worked closely with the ICS and Healthy Lancashire and South Cumbria (HSIS) as well as contractor Sencat to implement numerous sites in the North West.

“The team has been fantastic and has really pulled together, working all hours to ensure these sites are up and running.

“It has been a major challenge. We have had to find and then evaluate suitable locations to ensure they meet all the NHS requirements and have the facilities that are needed at hand.

“We have also had to ensure in our designs they can cope with the large numbers of local people that will be vaccinated daily.

“We’ve carried out surveys on the sites and our designers have then had to space plan the building, working with the clinical teams, the contractors and the police and Armed Forces, who are all involved in getting the vaccination programme up and running.”

He added: “Public safety has also been paramount in all our work on the project.”

FWP, which has offices in Preston, Manchester and London, has a wealth of experience in the healthcare sector.

David Robinson, FWP managing partner, added: “FWP has been involved in many projects that have enriched the lives of the public.

“But we couldn’t be prouder of our contribution to this project to roll out vaccination centres throughout the North West that will help to return people’s lives to some kind of normality.”

FWP has also worked on a project to create ‘sleep pods’ at Royal Preston Hospital.

They have been created so that frontline NHS staff at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals can find respite from the ongoing pressures of treating Covid-19 patients.

The pods enable clinical staff to catch up on much-needed sleep after long shifts, offering a peaceful and relaxing space before either returning to work or driving home safely.