Interim work on stagnant Carillion hospital set to restart next month

After eight months of no sign of work restarting, hospital bosses have finally restored hope that construction workers could return to the site of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in the near future following Carillion’s collapse in January.

The £350m Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust hospital remains two-thirds complete. It was due to be finished originally in October 2018 but that was pushed back to spring 2019 after M&E design issues were identified.

Despite all 278 of Carillion’s UK contracts being handed over to new suppliers, discussions with contractors continue to drag on as both parties strive for the deal which suits them most. West Midlands mayor Andy Street has previously urged the government to support Skanska to complete the construction after the trust identified the firm as its preferred option.

But in a contract notice published to the Official Journal of the European Union, the hospital’s trust confirmed it is striving to secure an early works contractor to undertake maintenance and reparation work at the site from 11 September until a permanent contractor is found to complete construction.

In the notice, the trust said: "At this time the trust wishes to enter into an Early Works Contract with a construction company which is experienced in acute hospital construction to undertake various protective and dilapidation works designed to protect the site as far as possible until a replacement construction contractor is appointed. The works will include dilapidation works and construction works aimed at the reduction of further site and/or asset dilapidation, reinforce the resilience of the building and secure site containment."

After eight months of the hospital lying idle, Toby Lewis, the chief executive of the Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust warned of deterioration becoming an increasing factor in delaying any completion. In May, he told board members that rework costs would be “significant” and it was likely 2022 would be an opening date. Lewis also revealed earlier in the year that the trust predicted it would now cost about £100m to £125m more than had originally been anticipated to finish the project.

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