Published date: 07 May 2021

Refurbishing vacant space to make way for ward in run down building

Axminster Community Hospital


  • Customers: Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust
  • NHSPS representatives: James Page (Regional Partnership Director), Mike Woodcliffe (Senior Transaction Manager), Roger Ball (Senior Construction Manager), Lewis Taylor (Senior Facilities Services Manager) and Alan White (Principal Portfolio Optimisation Manager)
  • Partners: CS2 and Court Construction


Axminster Hospital had underutilised space and so in line with NHS Property Services’ strategy to help the NHS get the most from its estate, we decided to look at options to repurpose a vacant ward.

We agreed with Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust to move the Adult Community Services ward from the Scott Rowe building into the main hospital as this building was deteriorating due to its age; the heating and hot water plant was inefficient, and the insulation of the building was very poor resulting in high energy costs. Patients and staff deserved a more fit for purpose, modern, new space which could be provided by refurbishing vacant space in the main hospital.

Furthermore, this would then enable us to sell the Scott Rowe building to generate funds for other Devon projects.


We agreed the scope of works and revised lease terms with the Foundation Trust and shared with Devon STP.

Court Construction won the tender for the works and we project managed to ensure works were delivered on time and provided updates to all parties on the project throughout development to completion. Works began on 3 August 2020 and were completed on 23 November 2020.

Our Facilities Management (FM) team worked closely with the project consultants, and the tenants to agree mechanical and electrical alterations in the main building vacant ward area. This has enabled a small saving on maintenance due to the removal of unneeded showers, handwash basins and w/cs. Our FM team also undertook an upgrade programme of all of the lighting in the vacant ward area to retrofit new LEDs which we funded too.

Our Town Planning team worked closely with the Asset Management team to prepare the vacant building.


The new wards are part of main hospital which is a better quality space and means the hospital is better utilised with less surplus space.

Transferring heating services to the main building (which was vacant and already heated) has allowed us to decommission the Scott Rowe systems and reduce energy consumption on the site. Furthermore, the maintenance costs associate with Scott Rowe including auto doors, fire alarms and intruder alarms, have also resulted in a small saving for the NHS.

The new LEDs will result in a significant energy saving and improved light levels.