‘Very little construction work’ at £335m Liverpool Hospital

The chief executive of Royal Liverpool University Hospitals Trust has confirmed there will be a further delay to the completion of the £335m new-build hospital following Carillion’s collapse, meaning the project will be delivered more than a year late.

Aidan Kehoe said the collapse of the contractor will “add to the delay” of the hospital, which has already had its handover date pushed back twice, but added the Hospital Company, the private sector consortium delivering the scheme, was “doing all that it can to minimise any further disruption”.

He added that only “a small number” of workers had returned to the site following Carillion’s collapse on 15 January, and added that “given the circumstances very little construction work is taking place at present”.

However, the Hospital Company said it had the funds to complete the project and “a range of options and contingency plans” were being implemented.

“The Hospital Company which is contracted to deliver the project is empowered to terminate existing contracts and engage a new contractor to complete construction. They also have access to insurance funds to enable it to complete the project.”

The Hospital Company have confirmed to subcontractors working on the scheme will be paid for any work undertaken from 15 January until the end of their contract.

“Any money owed from Carillion for work prior to this is subject to insolvency proceedings and discussions are underway between subcontractors and PwC”.

Carillion’s typical payment terms were 120 days.

Kehoe added: “The Trust appreciates that this is an extremely worrying time for those sub-contractors and Carillion staff and we hope that they will be supported as much as possible.”

The hospital was cited as one of the problem contracts that caused major losses at the contractor. The completion date was originally pushed back from March 2017 to February 2018, and in December last year, Carillion told the Trust it could no longer meet the February date.

Extensive asbestos in the ground and issues with cracks in concrete beams, requiring substantial remedial works, caused the delays. The cost of these works was covered by Carillion.

For facilities management services at the hospital, the Hospital Company is looking to set up a new company to transfer FM workers to, ensuring staff will still be paid.

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