Birmingham hospital, collapsed by Carillion collapse, opens six years late | News

One of the hospitals delayed by the Carillion collapse in early 2018 will not open for another two years.

The implosion of the country’s then second-largest contractor led to massive delays in the construction of Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick.

The planned super hospital was set to open in October 2018, replacing the emergency rooms at Sandwell and City hospitals.

Balfour Beatty was hired in 2019 – more than a year after Carillion sank – with initial hopes that the hospital would be ready in time for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

But the NHS trust of Sandwell and West Birmingham said work had been delayed by the impact of the pandemic, while the facade had to be replaced due to new fire safety regulations. It added that the M&E also needed to be redesigned.

Other opening dates that have come and gone have been the spring of 2023 and in an update this morning, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said it would now be ready to open in the spring of 2024.

Trust Chairman Sir David Nicholson said: “I am pleased to confirm with confidence that we will be opening as soon as possible after the completion of construction on the building, which will be handed over to the Trust before the end of 2023.

“Balfour Beatty and the Trust teams are jointly committed to continuing the construction work over the past two years and it is excellent to see how many departments and clinical areas are approaching completion, with a very high standard.”

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The new hospital will include more than 700 beds, 11 operating rooms, a purpose-built emergency department with co-located diagnostics, 15 maternity delivery rooms and an obstetrician-led delivery unit. Half of the beds are in single rooms with private bathrooms.

A second hospital job Carillion was working on when it collapsed, the Royal University Hospital in Liverpool, is on track to open this fall.

Laing O’Rourke took over the project in 2018 and the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the hospital is now on track to open in September or October this year.

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s pledge to build 40 ‘new’ hospitals is to be assessed by the government watchdog.

The National Audit Office (NAO) will conduct a “value for money review” later this year on the new hospital program, which was central to the Conservative Party’s 2019 general election manifesto.

In a letter to shadow health minister Wes Streeting, who had expressed concern about delays leading to major cost increases, the head of the NAO confirmed that the agency was already preparing an assessment.

Streeting said, “The only place these ’40 new hospitals’ currently exist is in Boris Johnson’s imagination.”

In March, the new hospital program unveiled its first commercial pipeline of work, including 11 deals at or near market engagement.

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