Nightingale Hospital Birmingham Case Study Stuart Palmer from Solihull

In their own words: Stuart Palmer, Site Manager, on his experiences building the new NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham


Stuart Palmer, who lives in Solihull with his wife and two children, is a site manager at Interserve Construction. He has been working to deliver the new NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham to the NHS to treat COVID-19 patients.

As the principal contractor, Interserve Construction delivered the first phase of the hospital in just two weeks on behalf of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. More than 400 employees and contractors and 60 Gurkhas from the British Army worked more than 86,000 construction hours on the project.

Here, Stuart shares his experiences of working on one of the most challenging construction projects of his career.

“This project has been the most challenging I have been involved in but at the same time, it is also very rewarding to do our bit in the fight against COVID-19. At this important time for the country, with the NHS working so hard to protect everyone, it is important to me that we do our bit along with our subcontractors, suppliers and consultants.

“I have worked on large hospital projects previously, but the speed of construction has made this one unique. We have been working 24 hours a day as a team, with some individual shifts lasting 18 hours a day, and throughout weekends and bank holidays to deliver an accelerated program. 

“Interserve have had a strong team on the project, and we have all worked very closely together to make it a success. The goodwill and support of subcontractors and suppliers have also been amazing. They have arranged same-day material deliveries and procured the tradespeople to install them at short notice. 

“There have been many situations where urgent requests which would normally not have been possible have been managed. The trades on site have also collaborated much more than they might usually do, which has greatly assisted us in achieving our much-condensed program.

“The urgent requirement for this facility at the current unprecedented time goes without saying, but we could not have worked these hours without the support of our families at home. There have been times where I haven’t seen my children for a week at a time. 

“Others on-site will also have had this experience so thank you to all families who have made sacrifices to this possible.”