The chief executive of Royal Liverpool University Hospitals Trust has said it will “prove challenging” to complete construction work on the £335m Liverpool Royal hospital before the end of the year.
Construction work had already been pushed back following the collapse of main contractor Carillion, and the Trust admitted “very little construction work” was ongoing in the weeks following the firm’s liquidation.
Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of the Trust, said there were “highly complex discussions taking place” to help get the project’s subcontractors and former Carillion staff back to site.
“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,” he said.
“This is because they have the best understanding of the work that is required to finish the job.
“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.”
In January, the Trust confirmed that subcontractors working on the scheme would be paid for any work undertaken from 15 January until the end of their contract, but any money owed by Carillion for work prior to that date would be “subject to insolvency proceedings.
Carillion’s typical payment terms were 120 days.
Kehoe added: “The Trust is doing all it can to minimise the delay. Our local politicians and others have all been hugely supportive and we will continue to liaise closely with them and the Department of Health.
“We all want the best for our patients and the people of Liverpool and that is to move into our world class new hospital.”
The project, which was already running around a year late, is now unlikely to be completed before 2019. Its original completion date was March 2017, but this was pushed back to February 2018, and delayed further when Carillion ran into problems before its collapse.
The company blamed cracks in concrete beams and asbestos in the ground for the delays.