The opening of the £335m Royal Liverpool University Hospital has been put back to summer 2018, a year later than originally planned, due to construction delays.
A statement from the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said that “there was never an official opening date”, but states that the original date for when contractor Carillion would hand over the hospital was March 2017, with a move-in completion targeted for July 2017.
The Trust said it is now expecting Carillion to hand over the building at the end of February 2018, after the completion has been confirmed by an independent tester.
There will then be a 20-week commissioning period, where the hospital is fitted with various equipment. The plan is for the move to be completed 14 weeks from the handover date, so the Trust is aiming for an opening in summer 2018.
The new hospital is set to include 646 single bedrooms with en-suites, 23 wards, 18 operating theatres, a large clinical research facility and a 40-bed critical care unit, alongside one of the biggest emergency departments in the North West.
The project has experienced delays, attributed to the complexity of the construction process and poor weather. Earlier this year development was paused after cracks were found in two concrete transfer beams.
A Carillion spokesperson said: “The construction of such a building on a brownfield city centre location is a very complex process and we have encountered some issues which have unfortunately led to a delay in the handover date to the Trust. As has been previously reported, there was asbestos on the site of the new hospital. The amount of asbestos found was significantly more extensive than initially thought and therefore took much longer to remove.
“As has also been reported, during routine checks on the new building, cracks were found above a small number of beams and remedial work was required, which has now been completed.
“Extended periods of poor weather throughout the build have also resulted in delays to the programme.
“We continue to work closely with the Trust to ensure that we handover the building as soon as possible in order for the transition into the new hospital to start.”