We have excellent staff and that made all the difference, stated Sarah Morris, practice manager of North Cardiff Medical Centre. It was a difference that was to really count the Thursday night that Sarah and her colleagues heard that their two-storey surgery had been maliciously destroyed by fire. All patient records were stored in fire-proof steel cabinets and computer records were backed-up, but everything else was destroyed and by Friday morning they had to be able to offer a service for urgent cases.
Fortunately the practice has a branch surgery not far away and some of the 35 staff, 10 of them doctors, managed to squeeze in there as part of the practices emergency plans. Temporary consultation rooms were found for the doctors, but some of the staffs computer stations had to be sited on landings and hallways in the days immediately following the fire.
It was obvious that the practice couldnt continue for very long with the emergency arrangements that patients and staff were valiantly coping with. The practice had to find a more permanent home while the damaged building was demolished and a new building was designed and built a process that could take a long time. More acceptable temporary accommodation had to be found, and quickly.
We received tenders from five accommodation hire companies, said Sarah, but I think that only Gary Griffiths, a director at Wernick Hire, really understood the urgency of the situation and that an early completion date was critical. He reacted rapidly and within a couple of days of the fire we were inspecting some temporary accommodation at his depot in Briton Ferry.
Within four weeks of a contract being signed an air-conditioned modular building had been delivered, complete with reception area, waiting room, six doctors consultation rooms, two treatment rooms a kitchen and toilets.
In circumstances such as we were faced with getting a new surgery building up and running quickly was paramount, said Sarah, Wernick Hire really understood the urgency of the situation. They were keen and their installation team was excellent.