Ashford, with 200 beds, is one of South Australia’s largest private hospitals and is held in high regard as a centre for clinical and medical excellence. It was originally opened in 1935 and in 1950 was sold to the Ashford Community Hospital. In 1995 Ashford was the first private hospital in South Australia to open an emergency department which now attends to approximately 20,000 patients each year.

To improve the services offered to the community and to take advantage of technological advances in healthcare, Ashford Private Hospital made the decision to convert four existing day surgery units to three digital theatres and an endoscopy suite. This theatre development constitutes the first private hospital digital theatre development in South Australia. NDY was appointed engineering services consultants responsible for the design, documentation and construction phase administration of the mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, fire protection and acoustic services.

NDY was also responsible for the design and documentation of specialist systems such as medical gases, suction systems, positive pressure systems for infection control, patient alarm systems, body protection, uninterruptable power supplies, reverse osmosis systems and UV sterilising.

The new theatres were constructed in an existing building, which was originally built as a nurses’ home in the 1950s. The building has limited ceiling space available to accommodate the complex services required for a digital theatre facility and NDY undertook detailed site analysis to identify cost-effective and practical solutions for the new development. During the construction phase, NDY’s role was extended to assist in accelerating the construction program by providing assistance to the builder in the coordination of the services with the building works during construction and commissioning.