Townend Court provides support for adults with learning disabilities from Hull and the East Riding, giving care to clients who require an informal admission and for those who need a formal admission under the Mental Health Act.

Humber NHS Foundation Trust and the client, Citycare, asked for an unused building, originally built in the 1920s, to be brought back into use to provide facilities for a number of practices.


As the work area was connected to a live area of the building, all works that would have affected the users were scheduled to be carried out outside of normal working hours, including water isolation works and decoration works.

Sewell planned for the site team to utilise the adjacent park road for site entry to avoid using the health centre access, reducing the impact on live services.

Subcontractors were procured using our pre-approved supply chain database, SitePass, to ensure all contractors were competent and, where possible, had worked on previous NHS schemes. All products selected as part of the project development were to NHS specification to ensure it was fully compliant with both Building Regulations and NHS requirements.


During phase one of the work, asbestos strips were carried out in a number of locations to ensure the workforce could work safely in the building given the age of the property. A single story wing of the building was also demolished to create an access road to the new parking area.

As existing block walls were in a very poor condition and unstable, Sewell, as an addition to the original contract, removed a number of walls and re-erected them, with partition walling and wind posts, to the structural engineer’s design. It was also found that many old water pipes needed repairing once the system was upgraded.

Phase two saw the team complete an internal refurbishment to the existing facility, including mechanical and electrical works to the ground floor areas within Townend Court, to create a bespoke wheelchair assessment unit. Within this phase of work, an external wheelchair test track was created, as was additional parking for the clinic.

Sewell engaged with the users within the live areas on a daily basis to ensure there were no issues during the construction works.  Collaborative working ensured the works progressed on schedule despite the logistical difficulties of working on an operational site.

As four practices were moving into the refurbished building with four separate client groups, it was essential the scheme was delivered without delay. This was achieved by Sewell despite numerous challenges given the age of the building.


This project, including refurbishment, the development of new facilities, and part demolition over the two phases, brought a number of challenges, all successfully overcome.

The project was delivered to agreed timescales, with zero accidents and defects, despite unexpected challenges and demands of working on a live site with vulnerable people.

It was also delivered on budget and with extra work to the original contract, which was required as the project progressed.

A local supply chain was used throughout, with 11 apprentices involved across the two phases. Collaborative working and engagement with the client was followed throughout, ensuring services were not affected as new facilities were provided.

Local contractors made up 99% of the work, with the only non-local business sourced being a specialist hoist company. Five apprentices played their part in phase one and six apprentices worked on phase two, with roles in ground and electrical works, joinery and plumbing.