The new approximately 26,440 square-metres (284,500 square-feet) acute care hospital and integrated services facility will be a centre for trauma services, orthopedic surgeries, pathology, radiology, clinical support and pharmacy services. The hospital will also be a training site for medical students in the Northern Medical Program.
Visit Let's Talk Northern Health, our online space for updating you on current projects, like the Mills Memorial Hospital Replacement Project, and for giving you a chance to ask questions and be a part of the conversation!
On May 21st the Business Plan for the Mills memorial Hospital replacement project was approved by the Treasury Board and announced by the Ministry of Health. The Northern Health Capital Projects team is now moving quickly to move the project forward and start the exciting work of procurement, and ultimately construction.
These next steps are integral to the process of replacing the hospital. The Procurement phase will be led by a project director, leading a planning team who reports to the Project Board (members from Ministry of Health, Northern Health and other stakeholders). The project Board is accountable to the Ministry of Health to ensure the project is implemented following the government-approved business plan and government capital asset management policies.
The project procurement process involves a series of consecutive pieces of work to identify the contractor to build the facility – this series includes a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), followed by a Request for Proposals (RFP), followed by the identification of Preferred Proponent, Final Approval & Financial Close.
The procurement phase can last up to 18 months; however, once completed, construction typically begins quickly.
Replacing Mills memorial Hospital will be staged, to ensure that the transition is ultimately focussed on ease for patients and staff at every point of care. The first stage will involve the replacement of the Seven Sisters facility, which will be rebuilt in the area beside the current psychiatric services area. This work will commence in early Fall, 2019 after the RFP has been completed.
Northern Health had a third party lead a process to review the development of a helipad as part of the Mills Memorial Hospital replacement project. The report concludes:
- The airport is the optimal location for fixed and rotary wing emergency transportation
- The current project is prohibitive for the development of a ground level helipad at this time
- The risks associated with helicopters incidents at a healthcare facility helipad when compared to the short travel distance from the airport to the helipad are significant
In addition, fixed-wing transport is a mainstay through the BC Ambulance system and requires an airport from which patients may be directly transferred. Ground ambulance is still required for patient transport no matter the location of the helipad.
The full reports can be seen below:
Request for Proposal (RFP) process continues
The Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) project team continues to work through the modified Request for Proposal (RFP) process with a qualified bidder (the proponent). While a design build agreement is not yet in place, we continue to collaborate to move the project forward and in anticipation of a successful outcome.
A new MMH Replacement project office has been established on the second floor of the current hospital, and the project team has expanded to 11 members. Some of the team members work full-time on the project, while others also have other responsibilities.
User group meetings
Over the last year, several rounds of meetings have taken place between the proponent, MMH project team members, and facility user groups. The most recent meetings took place during the last two weeks of November 2020 and another round will take place in February 2021. These meetings are essential for the bidder to be able to draft a basic design and move through the RFP process that leads to a final agreement.
These meetings are focused on clinical design. In the meetings, physicians and staff advise on essential and standard operational and clinical design elements, and raise concerns and offer suggestions based on best practices.
It’s important to note that nothing at this stage of design is complete. Significant input still is and will be required for the final facility design.
Communications and engagement
In September 2020, Northern Health’s Indigenous Health department contracted an Indigenous Engagement consultant to advise to help guide Indigenous engagement related to the Mills Memorial Hospital and future Northern Health capital projects. The MMH project team is working closely with Indigenous Health and the consultant to ensure proper and respectful engagement.
In anticipation of a final agreement, the Project Team is busy planning and updating our communications and engagement plan. As a result of COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings, we must be especially creative in our techniques, and take many activities online.
After a proponent is announced, the Project Team will initiate public engagement. This includes sharing more detailed information, as well as seeking commentary and feedback from Indigenous partners, stakeholders and the community at large.
We are pleased with the progress of the MMH project and RFP process to date. However, to maintain competitiveness in the process, we cannot provide further details until a successful proponent is announced.
To stay current on the Mills Memorial Replacement project, go to:
- Mills Memorial – Let's Talk Northern Health
- Mills Memorial Hospital, Terrace BC - Replacement - Northern Health
The procurement phase of the Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) replacement project continues to be on-schedule.
Project Management is continuing to work through the modified Request for Proposals (RFP) process with a qualified bidder, and the final proponent will be formally announced when the RFP process is closed and fulfilled. In this portion of the process, the bidder has been meeting with facility user groups to ensure a draft design that can meet clinical needs, based in large part on best practices and input from the physicians, nurses, clinicians and many allied workers that use the facility to fulfill health care needs every day. If the design that results from this phase is approved, it will not be a complete and final work – input will still be required for many aspects of the final facility design to met and respect the cultural and healthcare needs of the public, specifically respecting local communities.
After a proponent is announced, the Project management Office will initiate public engagement work, including more detailed information-sharing along with advisory sought for the next stages in design planning.
Procurement for the Mills Memorial Hospital (MMH) replacement project continues to be on-schedule.
We are working through some changes in the initial procurement plan because there were no acceptable bids for the Seven Sisters RFP (Request for Proposals). The bids received were higher than anticipated in the project budget and projected schedules longer than allowed for construction. The Seven Sisters replacement project has been added to the Request for Qualifications/RFP processes for the overall MMH redevelopment project, but we are still maintaining the project timelines. Adding the Seven Sisters project into the overall MMH redevelopment improves the likelihood that timeline and budgetary expectations are met by allowing one contractor to plan, schedule and construct both Seven Sisters and the new MMH.
The Project Office for the MMH replacement will be located in Terrace (address TBD) and recruitment continues for dedicated roles. Additional roles are being added to Northern Health Careers over the next few weeks.
On July 16th the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process was initiated and made live on BC Bid for the build of the new Mills Memorial Hospital. This RFQ will run through to the end of summer with the Request for Proposals (RFP) projected to open with those shortlisted later in the Fall of 2019.
On July 9th the Request for Proposals (RFP) for building the replacement Seven Sisters facility was submitted to the three proponents shortlisted in the Request for Qualifications (RFQ), it is expected to close on July 30. This RFP process was open only to the top three companies that were shortlisted through the initial RFQ process earlier in 2019. They are Ledcor, Vector Projects and Progressive Ventures.
A request for Qualifications (RFQ) is a process that allows organizations to consider proposals based on the experience and qualifications of firms interested in submission (a straight tender considers only price). A scoring matrix is included in this process, so that bidders understand what the organization is looking for. This assists in eliminating potential issues, including the avoidance of unqualified bidders submitting the lowest bid. An RFQ also encourages bidders who might otherwise not submit if the field of competition appears too large and the chances of bid success are presumed low. Putting together an accurate yet competitive tender price is a lot of work. If there is a higher likelihood that an unqualified bidder could put in a low bid then this discourages qualified and appropriate bidders from submitting.
Bidders passing the RFQ (usually up to 3) are then able to respond to the next step of the procurement (a Tender or Request for Proposals, RFP) which then results in a Construction Contract (this type of contract requires that the contractor agree to be responsible for job execution at a set price).
Replacement of Seven Sisters will take place first as the existing Seven Sisters facility needs to be moved to make way for the new MMH. The new Seven Sisters will be located on the south-west corner of the existing MMH site and will be procured using a Design-Bid-Build procurement model.