Long-delayed project more than £300m over budget, according to new report
The long-delayed new Liverpool Royal Hospital is expected to be completed early next year.
Construction work on the 646-bed hospital was delayed when PFI contractor, Carillion, collapsed in 2018.
But Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it remains hopeful that the new building will be completed by spring 2022, after public money was made available to complete the work.
At the time Carillion went into liquidation, work on the project, which was originally due for completion in 2018, was thought to be almost complete.
But new construction partner, Laing O’Rourke, had to strip out three floors of the building and undertake major work to reinforce the structure with steelwork and additional reinforced concrete as cracks in concrete beams had rendered the building unsafe.
It was also discovered that the building was fitted with external cladding considered unsafe following the Grenfell Tower fire. Replacing this cost an extra £50m.
In total, the Government’s spending watchdog, the National Audit Office, revealed in a report published last week that the estimated cost of the development, which was originally around £746m, had shot up to more than £1billion because of the delays and problems found.
Once completed, the new Royal Liverpool Hospital will mark a healthcare innovation for the people of Merseyside.
It will be the largest hospital in England with 100% single rooms for inpatients, with many offering views of the Liverpool skyline.
The 94,000sq m building hospital will replace the existing 1970s facility on the same site in central Liverpool.
There will be 19 operating theatres, making it Liverpool’s main accident and emergency centre capable of dealing with major trauma. There will also be acute services including cardiology, respiratory care, and general surgery together with regional and national specialist services in renal dialysis, endoscopy, ophthalmology, haematology and vascular surgery.
And the design, by NBBJ Architects in collaboration with HKS, provides a healing, non-institutional environment that enhances the patient, visitor and staff experience.
Additionally, the building layout maximises daylight, views, landscaped external areas and healthcare service delivery efficiency.
The circumstances of Carillion’s collapse and its consequences are currently being investigated by the Financial Reporting Council and the Official Receiver.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “Construction work on the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital project has continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the project continues to progress towards the planned construction completion in spring 2022.”