Major hospital acts to ensure continuity of heating in the event of boiler system failure

A major UK hospital has implemented an emergency contingency plan to ensure continuity of heating and hot water to wards, operating theatres and offices in the event of failure of its primary boiler system.

The FM company responsible for building services on the large site has contracted Watkins Hire to provide a high efficiency standby boiler system to replace the main boiler in the event of failure, under the hire specialist’s Temperature Control Emergency Planning Services (TCEPS) scheme

Following site surveys to assess the requirement, Watkins proposed installation of a 3000kW MTHW boiler and associated fuel package. After a successful four week trial, the Trust agreed a 52-week minimum hire contract for the plant to remain on site as emergency back-up, with annual review and anticipated roll-ons.

TCEPS provides total assurance for end users who rely on critical plant to maintain business continuity. It covers the provision of standby plant to generate steam, hot water, heating, cooling or dehumidification for vital temperature control.

Failure of existing plant in critical applications can have disastrous consequences, including downtime, closure of facilities, financial penalties, loss of revenue and, in healthcare situations, a failure to carry out a duty of care. In addition to hospitals and care homes, key sectors covered by the scheme  include manufacturing and process industry, hotels and leisure, and IT and telecoms.

There are three levels of cover, Gold, Silver and Bronze, enabling building owners to match the level of support with the criticality of the application and their budget. The major hospital contract recently secured was under the Silver level of cover.

Each TCEPS plan has a unique reference number, which the end user or responsible FM company quotes at the time of any emergency call, ensuring a timely response and minimising downtime.

Under the service, specialist Watkins assessors first carry out site visits to survey and evaluate the requirement, then produce a detailed plan to provide the necessary support to maintain temperature control in the event of a breakdown of one or more items of key equipment.

Terry Stevens-Smith, Watkins’ director – National Accounts, says: “Loss of heating or cooling as a result of unexpected plant breakdown can have a catastrophic impact on buildings and industrial processes. In the healthcare setting, it may even be a matter of life or death, with operating theatres and tissue stores reliant on effective temperature control in order to function.”

He added: “In manufacturing, many processes are highly temperature dependent, and any down-time can result in expensive losses in productivity. Similarly, critical IT and computer applications often require constant temperature control to maintain operation, with serious impacts if HVAC equipment fails.

“TCEPS provides total peace of mind for end users, with cover tailored to fit the need, the application and the budget.”

The service includes full installation, commissioning and transport planning and fuel management for the duration of the contract using Watkins unique GSM telemetry service and 24/7, 365 day cover.

For more details, call 0800 999 6 365 or email , or visit

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