Manchester hospitals project drafts in support

Bell Pottinger North is to handle PR for a £420m private finance initiative scheme to redevelop two major hospitals in central Manchester.

Plans: Children's University Hospital
Plans: Children's University Hospital

The agency will provide ongoing support for the rejuvenation of the Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals in the city centre. Once the work is complete the hospital site will be one of the largest in Europe.

Bell Pottinger North has been hired by the Catalyst Healthcare consortium, made up of Bovis Lend Lease and Uberior Infrastructure, an investment division of the Bank of Scotland.

Vicki Baxter, Bell Pottinger North account director, said: 'It is a massive build, and being in the middle of Manchester, it will attract a lot of interest.

'Working in the NHS you never know what call you are going to get, so we are offering 24/7 reactive services. There is a lot of interest in any health and construction project, so someone who can react to any eventuality and work proactively to raise their profile is needed.'

The construction involves new buildings and refurbishment on four existing hospitals on the Manchester Royal Infirmary site. This includes the provision of a new children's hospital and the maintenance of 145,000 square metres of existing hospital estate.

Catalyst Healthcare is also responsible for builds for the Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust and Queen Mary's Hospital in Roehampton.

Bell Pottinger North pitched for the account last October, and has a rolling contract until 2011.

This is the latest in a string of NHS trust wins for the agency, including Liverpool Primary Care Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust.

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