Financing a theatre and ward complex at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

December 7, 2021

During 2020, works were completed on a modular theatre and ward complex at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham.

Delivered in two phases, the modular building provider delivered a contemporary three-storey modular theatre and ward complex, four operating theatres, a six-bed recovery suite and a 20-bed inpatient ward.

We worked alongside our partner ModuleCo Healthcare to support the financing of the project, which allowed the NHS Trust to benefit from the new facility straight away, without the need for significant upfront capital.

The brief: 

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is one of Europe’s biggest specialist orthopaedic units, with exceptional levels of patient experience.

Key decision-makers within the Trust had recognised that the delivery of their services was hindered by existing, ageing operating theatres and equipment – some of which dated back 70 years or more.

The existing operating theatre block, comprising ten theatres connected in groups of three, was connected to the electrical and mechanical plant. This meant that if one item of the plant was lost, the Trust would be unable to work in three theatres until the issue could be resolved.

This led to operations and surgeries being cancelled or postponed, resulting in substandard patient experience as well as a financial loss of between £500,000 and £1 million. 

Consequently, three core objectives were set:

  • Meet existing and future demand
  • Expand operating capabilities
  • Drive additional revenue

The Trust opted for a modular approach as it was deemed the most effective both in terms of cost and time, offering a quick delivery and ensuring that the project could be paid for through a unique hire solution.

The solution: 

SAF worked alongside partners ModuleCo Healthcare to recognise the challenges faced by the Trust, assess their financial position and understand their future priorities.

From here, we worked on a finance solution that would ensure that patient experience remained at the core of the Royal Orthopaedic’s service offering, while also making sure that the facility could cope with future demand.

The project also had several significant benefits, including:

  • Increasing theatre capacity by 40%
  • 2,000 more patients seen annually
  • 70 new jobs for the local area
  • Creation of a sustainable, future proof facility that can be extended or relocated as required.

Jane Tabiner, Managing Director at SAF, said of the project: “We are experienced in the modular space, with a particular focus on healthcare, so it was fantastic to work alongside ModuleCo Healthcare on this project.

“The team at the Royal Orthopaedic are a fantastic example of a group who willingly embrace new and innovative approaches to healthcare construction through both a modular and flexible finance approach. 

“This willingness has paid dividends through the creation of a resilient, cost-effective facility that will grow alongside the Trust and provides a safe environment for healthcare workers to complete their life-saving work.”

Alan Wilson, Managing Director of ModuleCo Healthcare, said: “This project at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is a fantastic example of how effective a modular approach can be, both from a time and cost perspective.

“SAF are a fantastic funding partner, working in close collaboration with our team to understand the Trust’s requirements and implement a finance solution that suits all parties.”

The delivery: 

Solutions Asset Finance worked closely with ModuleCo Healthcare to implement an effective financial solution that would allow the Trust to quickly benefit from a new state-of-the-art facility.

The theatre and ward complex has been made available to the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital via a Managed Service Agreement. This agreement amalgamates the costs for the enabling works, equipment and the running of the facility. 

A Managed Service Agreement was identified as the optimal solution for the Trust because it eradicated the need for upfront capital investment. It also ensured the future resilience of the hospital by allowing decision-makers to address the financial risks associated with the original, ageing theatres, and making sure that the hospital can cope with future demand. 

Given that project was delivered via two phases, a flexible finance solution meant that healthcare providers were able to immediately benefit from the new facility.

What’s more, the monthly cost of the facility should be paid for by the additional revenue stream generated from the additional capacity.  


We’re proud to support modular providers in making their facilities more readily available through flexible finance options.

With significant experience in the healthcare sector, we understand the budget constraints faced by NHS Trusts and work hard to develop solutions that mean they can benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.

Get in touch to find out more about our work in the modular sector via our Commercial Director Philip Green at

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