Will Harvey on project managing NHS Nightingale London

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Posted on 21st May 2020

As the UK went into Lockdown on 23rd March, Lanview’s Project Manager, Will Harvey was contracted to help project manage NHS Nightingale London – the critical care temporary hospital commissioned by NHS England to respond to COVID-19. Here Will gives his account of his work on the new project.

The Saturday after Lockdown began, I had a call from my old colleagues at MTS Health, a specialist hospital commissioning company I had worked for prior to working at Lanview. The brief was to work with them on NHS Nightingale London. I’d project managed three specialist Hospital builds with MTS Health so knew this area very well, and given the increasingly serious nature of the Coronavirus pandemic I was keen to help in any way. With Lanview fully supporting my decision, I started work on Monday 30th March.

My job was to manage the delivery, commissioning and distribution of essential medical equipment. This included liaising with the army and clinical staff, dealing with all incoming medical equipment, sorting through deliveries then setting up the medical equipment for testing. The testing had to be undertaken by Electro Bio-Medical Engineers before being deemed suitable for use.

Dealing with all incoming medical equipment


Sorting through deliveries


As a Project Manager I was very much in ‘doing’ mode and getting things sorted. Because I was responsible for managing the deliveries and directing them to the right places, I literally walked the length of Excel several times in a day. Excel is in excess of 100,000 sq m or over 1M sq ft. I worked out I had clocked up approximately 15-16 miles walking a day! Also working 13-hour shifts was physically tiring but the atmosphere and comradery on-site was so uplifting and that kept as all going. It was also great to bump into old colleagues (Steve Wallace from Mace ex- RG Group and Steve Creighton from ISS ex Skanska).


Managing and directing deliveries to the right places


Testing undertaken by Electro Bio-Medical Engineers


What started out as 2-week project grew into several weeks. During this time, I stayed on-site and my wife and daughters who are just 12 and 8 didn’t see me for 2 weeks at a time. They found this period of uncertainty and risk to health tough, but now my work with the project is over we’re just glad I was able to contribute.

It was a real privilege working with so many amazing people and companies – who gave up a great deal to set up NHS Nightingale London. Our sole and collective objective being to save lives. We all hope it will never be used to full capacity but it is ready if ever needed.

MTS Health Team – including Will (Top Right)