New Liverpool hospital reveals funding support as ministers receive rescue package

Funders behind the stalled Royal Liverpool Hospital have reaffirmed their commitment to the £335m project as a draft engineering review states work on structural issues which have plagued the facility should not further impact on timescales for construction.

A review led by Arup shows work on problems can be completed in line with other outstanding areas with the hospital’s trust receiving a draft copy report of the first phase following the firm’s appointment in March to identify how much additional work was necessary. The trust says it is currently working through the report with its structural advisor and will discuss the findings with The Hospital Company (Liverpool).

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 2018, before 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. But Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust has now presented rescue plans for the scheme to the government.

In a statement released by the trust, it said: "We would like to reassure anyone concerned about maintenance of the current Royal, that funds have been set aside for ongoing maintenance and patients will have a safe environment for their care."

Discussions regarding a new construction partner to complete the new Royal are ongoing with talks said to be “very complex” and involving a number of organisations and stakeholders including the Treasury, the Hospital Company (Liverpool), various legal representatives and the official receiver’s representatives; PwC.

Building of the new £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital stalled in February and local politicians have called on the government to intervene ever since. Construction of the 646-bed hospital was already almost a year overdue when Carillion filed for compulsory liquidation earlier this year, with debts of around £1.5bn.

Earlier this month, Frank Field, chair of the parliamentary work and pensions committee, said the hospital was “gathering cobwebs” and described it as a “creaking monument to the greed and hubris of Carillion's directors".

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson has hit out at the delay and called on the government to have a much more hands on role in ensuring its delivery. "Carillion's collapse cannot and must not delay completion of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital any longer than it already has done,” he added. “We are talking about a vital public service and we need to see Jeremy Hunt and the Department of Health take a much more prominent role in getting things moving."

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