New £335m hospital project faces 'significant delay' after Carillion collapse


Completion of a new £335 million hospital is facing a "significant delay" following the collapse of building giant Carillion, an NHS chief executive has warned.

The firm, which went into liquidation in January, was building the 646-bed Royal Liverpool University Hospital in Merseyside.

The project was already behind schedule and in December Carillion told the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust it could not meet a revised February 28 handover date.

The Trust's chief executive Aidan Kehoe on Tuesday said its "preferred option was for sub-contractors and Carillion staff who worked on the project to complete it".

But he added: "Many of the subcontractors are experiencing severe financial difficulties as a result of Carillion's collapse.

"It is therefore difficult at this stage to get those subcontractors back on the site.

"I anticipate that the conversations between ourselves, the hospital company, subcontractors and the official receiver will take some time.

"Therefore I would expect a significant delay on the completion of the new hospital scheme."

Carillion, which employed 20,000 workers across Britain, had multimillion-pound contracts spanning the education, health, justice, defence and transport industries.

But on January 15 it announced it was going into liquidation after talks failed to find another way to deal with the company's debts.

Carillion was handed the contract for the hospital in 2013 and it was originally due to be handed over to the NHS in March 2017.

At the time of being awarded the contract, the company said it would be the  "largest all single-bed hospital in the country" with 646 beds, including a 40-bed critical care unit, and 18 operating theatres.

It was building the hospital for a private consortium, The Hospital Company (Liverpool).

But the NHS Trust said that Carillion later revised the handover date to February 28 2018, before saying last December that it could not  meet this date either.

Mr Kehoe said that the trust "remain 100% assured that the hospital will be completed and we will give the people of Liverpool a fantastic facility that they will all be proud of in the years to come".