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Built Environment students have been given a tour of a major working construction site at Epsom Hospital.

Staff at Willmott Dixon Interiors are working on an NHS rehabilitation centre, and they welcomed Level 3 Plumbing students to the project on Tuesday (October 5) to have a look around.

The 77-week project includes a three-storey extension, new bridge link and refurbishment of specialist areas, and is taking place in Langley Wing while the floors above and below remain ‘live’ wards.

Steve Matthews, Nescot’s Head of Plumbing and Gas Services, thanked staff at Willmott Dixon Interiors for welcoming the students and answering their questions.

“The students enjoyed applying what they’ve learnt at college to the practical considerations of the site, from technical plumbing to health and safety factors,” he added.

“The scope and scale of what the team are doing means it would be a complicated project anywhere, but working in a live hospital environment adds challenges our students might not have considered.”

Willmott Dixon Interiors are welcoming more students from Nescot over the coming weeks, including Level 3 Electrical and Carpentry and Joinery students, and Level 2 Brickwork and Plastering students. 

“We all work hard to get our students genuinely ready for work, so trips like this are really useful to help them to consolidate what we’re doing in college,” said Jim Murphy, Head of Construction.

“For example, because our tutors all have construction experience we’re able to help the students understand how the trade they’re learning will interact with other trades on-site.

“The site visit gives them another opportunity to see this in real-life, and help them to see how decisions they make on-site could affect their colleagues and impact the project overall.

“Complex sites are also a good way of showing our students examples of the broader skills we teach them, such as effective communication, time management and planning.”

Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust is moving the New Epsom and Ewell Community Hospital and The Poplars from West Park on Horton Lane to Epsom General Hospital.

The new area will be almost 30,000 square feet, and bring offsite departments together under one roof as well as providing new clinical areas, additional bedspace and new nurses’ stations.

There will be new adult and paediatric physiotherapy facilities, and a refurbished reception area and waiting rooms, as well a new bridge to link to the second floor of the adjacent Wells Wing.

Nescot offers qualifications in Brickwork, Plastering, Carpentry and Joinery, Electrical, Plumbing and Gas. You can study full-time, part-time or as an apprentice.

For more information about the Built Environment qualifications at the college, click here.