Mark Gibson, Managing Director of Healthcare shares what has led him to focus on the healthcare sector and his ambitions for the year ahead.
Mark’s exemplary professional trajectory would inspire anyone currently starting a career in the built environment. He first joined Sir Robert McAlpine as a trainee in 1992 and progressed through to chartership with part-time education. After a couple of years spent outside the company, he returned to Sir Robert McAlpine, ultimately becoming the Northern Region Managing Director. Earlier this year, the organisation’s move to a national, sector-focused operating model saw him appointed Managing Director of Healthcare.
Over the years he’s worked on a wide variety of projects – from his first scheme as Project Manager at Newcastle airport to the gardens at Alnwick castle, one of his fondest memories: “It was exciting to take my kids around it when they were a bit younger, to know that you played a key role in delivering a project for a Duchess.”
But healthcare has become something of a calling for Mark, as he and his team are inspired by getting to work closely with clinical staff and having the opportunity to upgrade the level of service that patients receive around the country. This is a fast-growing sector in which he has honed his experience with large, publicly funded projects.
I really feel you can see in the culture, behaviours and work ethic of our people, our supply chain, our direct workforce, that they’re delivering a purpose. That’s what really excited me about leading the operational healthcare team – our people are really committed to the work.
Managing Director of Healthcare
It’s not just social value driving Mark and Sir Robert McAlpine’s operational healthcare team forward. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, there has been more demand for the UK’s healthcare estate than ever and Mark points towards the importance of investing in inhouse expertise to stay ahead of evolving demands.
“If you want the work, you’ve got to have the skills and competence. We have invested a huge amount of time and effort in developing our current talent and getting the right people to join Sir Robert McAlpine, and help us win work, going on to deliver some fantastic projects.”
For example, net zero is a key driver for NHS infrastructure and Mark works closely with Simon Leek, Company Carbon Manager at Sir Robert McAlpine, to provide in house training to the teams on his healthcare projects. This year, Sir Robert McAlpine became one of the first construction companies in the UK to have its pathway to net zero validated by the Science Based Targets initiative.
With the Government also setting a target for all new NHS projects to aspire to 70% MMC, in-house experts such as Scott Tacchi, Sir Robert McAlpine’s Head of MMC, work alongside Mark to ensure projects are driving MMC from concept.
Another mainstay of Sir Robert McAlpine’s healthcare projects is the cutting edge on site technology that teams use. Buildots, an AI construction platform, was adopted for the construction of the BEACH Building at Royal Bournemouth Hospital, which topped out earlier this year, and HP Site Print, a robot site printer, was also trialled on the Derby Kingsway Hospital project before its UK launch.
“We’re prepared for the journey of evolving government criteria and the aspirations of each NHS trust and have the in-house skillsets to make sure that we meet project aspirations from concept,” Mark says.
Both of these projects are being delivered by Integrated Health Projects (IHP), a joint venture between VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
Looking to the future
Over the last 12-18 months, IHP has secured £1bn worth of work, and as part of the P23 healthcare framework, Sir Robert McAlpine has played a key role in delivering state of the art healthcare and mental health facilities across the UK. The National Rehabilitation Centre in Nottinghamshire, Derby Kingsway Hospital and Springfield University Hospital in Southwest London are a few recent examples of our contribution to the sector.
Looking ahead, “The pipeline looks really positive and we are delivering some excellent projects,” Mark says.