Work could restart on the long-delayed Royal Liverpool Hospital in the coming months with a review now under way to identify how much construction remains to be done following former contractor Carillion’s collapse in January.
The Hospital Company, which is managing the £335m hospital’s delivery, confirmed discussions with a replacement contractor, understood to be Laing O’Rourke, were “at a very advanced stage”, although the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust was continuing to review the proposals.
The structural review will help the new contractor and the Hospital Company to draw up a new project plan for the scheme, which is already running nearly two years late.
In February, the Trust’s chief executive said it would “prove challenging” to deliver the project before 2019, with “very little construction work” being carried out in the weeks following Carillion’s collapse.
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 contractor blamed cracks in concrete beams and asbestos in the ground for the delays.
The NHS Trust said: “In anticipation of construction restarting, work continues onsite to test systems and protect the building. Our redevelopment team and clinical colleagues have been checking the rooms to ensure that they comply with specification, with around 200 rooms checked so far.
“Over 2,000 visits by members of staff have taken place and staff continue to help orientate themselves, using this extra time to enhance our preparations for moving in.
“We remain confident that the new Royal will be completed and will update you as soon as the date to restart construction work has been agreed.”