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Inspection and building control

Part 6 of the story of our move to 39 Newnham Road

As June progressed we gradually had to add more and more date commitments due to holidays and availability. We needed to book the cabinet maker and the dental engineers to move equipment otherwise more valuable days and weeks would have been lost. During this period we established an incredible team atmosphere. Possibly as a direct result of the time-tabling stress but certainly down to the fabulous collection of craftsmen who were involved, there was a universal cheerful focus on the job in hand. The clinical team had a first class opportunity to integrate with this and there was an infectious buzz about the place.

Despite our best efforts however, the timetable slipped. Ted became frantic at times, and David worked longer and longer hours. The building control inspection had to be postponed twice. It  became clear that it would not occur before the CQC came to visit. Postponement of the CQC process would necessitate a further 8 week delay on the whole project. I decided to take the risk.

The Friday morning when CQC were due dawned with torrential rain. The new premises still looked like a building site and we knew that our inspector’s expectation was that we should be ready to open the doors to patients with flowers on the reception desk and all calm and under control.  David Bacon, our inspector, arrived with a colleague and was of course charmingly disarming. How different it can all seem when a hitherto faceless organisation with such potential power over us is distilled to a human being who has his own responsibilities, constraints and concerns.  This did not however relieve the stress of the situation.

Our careful planning paid off in that he had no concerns about the facilities and services and did, on a one to one basis, have the pragmatism and insight to see what we had achieved and where we were headed. They inspected and questioned  and after two hours left, assuring us that all we had to do was produce the paperwork that they required.

We needed the sign off from Building Control but CQC then asked for a fire inspection report in addition.  Request for this produced a reaction from Cambridge Fire service that they did not provide such a service and our initial inspection from April, with recommendations should be signed off by Building control. Such inconsistencies which we later resolved as having been a misunderstanding caused some of the most stressful moments of the whole project, aside from the expense and time required to chase up the resolution.

Building Control were now booked for the following Thursday. The window of opportunity to relocate our decontamination room from 53 Newnham Road to 39 fell in the same week, Grant arrived to shift and build the cabinetry. With a big gulp the decontamination room was disassembled, a temporary arrangement for the sterilisation of equipment was set up and we continued to see our patients. The plumbing work to satisfy the building control requirements was still in progress. The boiler failed, central heating could not be pressure tested, more delays. The final sink connection to satisfy building control was completed at 2.30am on the Thursday morning. No-one dared to breathe properly.

Building Control were of course completely happy with everything. David’s approach to completing every aspect of the job right was exactly the reason we had engaged him to do the job in the first place.  Deadlines have their function too.

[To be continued]

Inspecting photo

Getting ready for building control inspections

Colourful office boxes

Step by step ... things are getting sorted

Boxes of dentistry material

And falling into their right places!


Posted on 22 November 2012
< Blog >

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