New Liverpool hospital likely to be delayed until 2019 following Carillion collapse

Due to further construction delays as a result of the collapse of Carillion, NHS bosses warned today that the new Royal Liverpool Hospital might not open this year. The hospital, which was being built by Carillion under a PFI contract, was originally due to open in March 2017 but that date was revised to 28 February this year, then Carillion said in December that its handover would be delayed again.

Following the company’s collapse, hospital bosses have been working with the PFI project company, Hospital Company (Liverpool), to get the new facility completed and open. However, chief executive of Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust Aidan Kehoe, today conceded that further delays to the project were inevitable and that it would “prove challenging” to get the hospital finished this year.

In a video update on the trust’s website, Kehoe said that the the Hospital Company (Liverpool), which is responsible to the hospital and which hired Carillion, was trying to hire existing subcontractors and Carillion staff to get the hospital finished but that there were ongoing delays. “In order to get construction started as soon as possible, The Hospital Company is working to secure the services of existing sub-contractors and former Carillion construction staff to continue the work. This is because they have the best understanding of the work that is required to finish the job,” said Kehoe.

“There are highly complex discussions taking place between various parties to get sub-contractors back on site as soon as possible. However, many of these firms are facing financial difficulties as a result of Carillion’s collapse, therefore this process will take some time. Given this situation, we expect a significant delay and it will prove challenging to get the new Royal finished before the end of the year,” he said.

Kehoe said that the trust was doing all it can to minimise the delay and was working closely with local politicians and the Department of Health to resolve matters. The government has confirmed that money will be made available to complete the £429m project but not money owed to sub-contractors unless this is agreed by the liquidators.

It seems likely that the ongoing disputes over monies owed to sub-contractors by Carillion is causing significant delays in getting workers back on site. Local and national politicians have urged the government to intervene to guarantee that firms owed money are paid for the work they have done, but to date ministers have referred such calls to the Official Receiver.

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