Higher costs revealed for Liverpool hospital hit by Carillion collapse

The cost of completing a new hospital – where work was halted after the collapse of engineering giant Carillion – is higher than previously anticipated, it has been revealed.

The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust said the costs for completing the Royal Liverpool Hospital have been re-estimated.

A Trust spokesman said: “Once these costs are completed, we will submit our business case to the Department of Health and Social Care, for them to approve the funding.”

The original cost of the hospital was £335 million, but this is believed to have increased after problems were discovered when Laing O’Rourke was appointed last October to complete the building work.

It has also been revealed that construction consultants Gleeds has replaced Mace as the project manager on the new hospital.

A Trust spokesman said: “Since taking over the project in October 2018, we now have full access to commercial information previously held by the Hospital Company.

“We have also been working closely with Laing O’Rourke and external advisers who are undertaking a thorough assessment of all the works needed to complete the new Royal.

“This includes significant works required to fix the structural issues that were identified.

“Our staff are working closely with the design team on the solutions, to ensure that not only do they fix the issues, but also that they don’t adversely impact on clinical space, which can have a bearing on the costs.

“Following these assessments, the overall costs for completion have been re-estimated and they are higher than previously anticipated.”

A Unite spokesman said: “It is simply extraordinary that Mace are no longer the project manager on the project. The change in contractor brings even greater uncertainty to this severely troubled project.

“The revolving door of contractors and senior staff [the chief executive of the Trust is also leaving] is draining confidence from the project.”

Unite said it was seeking to ensure that workers are not exploited when building work restarts, including a commitment to outlaw false self-employment, the honouring of industrial agreements and full access for the workforce to construction unions.

Unite regional officer Colin Carr said: “The entire history of this project is one of mismanagement and failure. It is essential that these mistakes are not repeated in finally completing the project.

“If the workforce is not properly treated then it is almost inevitable that delays in completing this hospital, which is desperately needed in Liverpool, will further escalate.”

Jonathan Stewart, managing director of Gleeds, said: “Gleeds has been appointed as project and cost managers.

“Having undertaken many similar projects in the healthcare sector across the UK, we look forward to working with all the stakeholders to ensure that the project meets the appropriate timelines.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Joe Giddens / PA Wire.