Half-fin­ished hos­pi­tals still lie idle af­ter Car­il­lion fall

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business - - Business - By Rhi­an­non Curry

EIGHT months af­ter Car­il­lion col­lapsed into liq­ui­da­tion work on a num­ber of the con­trac­tor’s high-pro­file projects – in­clud­ing two ma­jor hos­pi­tal build­ings – is yet to restart.

Con­struc­tion work­ers downed tools on the Mid­land Metropoli­tan Hos­pi­tal near Birm­ing­ham and the Royal Liver­pool Hos­pi­tal but de­spite Car­il­lion’s in­volve­ment in the projects ceas­ing in Jan­uary, work re­mains idle.

Although the Gov­ern­ment’s In­sol­vency Ser­vice con­firmed last week that it had handed over all 278 of Car­il­lion’s UK con­tracts to new sup­pli­ers, projects are still be­ing de­layed while con­tracts are be­ing wran­gled over.

In the Mid­lands, the Sandwell and West Birm­ing­ham Hos­pi­tals Trust has pub­lished a tender for a con­trac­tor to un­der­take work to pro­tect the site from the el­e­ments un­til a new com­pany to fin­ish the build­ing work can be found, but even the in­terim work will not be­gin un­til the mid­dle of next month, the doc­u­ment sug­gests.

Toby Lewis, chief ex­ec­u­tive of the trust, has warned that it is now likely to be de­layed for a fur­ther four years. In a re­port sent to the lo­cal coun­cil, he said that a fail­ure to trans­fer ex-car­il­lion work­ers to an­other provider made “an open­ing date for the new build of 2022 the most likely sce­nario”.

Lo­cal MP John Spel­lar has re­peat­edly called for the Gov­ern­ment to step in and se­cure the fu­ture of the hos­pi­tal, ac­cus­ing min­is­ters of “dither­ing” about the project.

Work on the Liver­pool hos­pi­tal project has also yet to recom­mence af­ter be­ing halted in Jan­uary. The Royal Liver­pool and Broad­green Univer­sity Hos­pi­tals Trust is un­der­stood to be in talks with con­struc­tion firm Laing O’rourke to take over the project, but a deal has not yet been signed. Even when work does be­gin, it is thought that it will be at least 12 months un­til the build­ing is opened to the pub­lic.

The two projects were cited as cen­tral con­tribut­ing fac­tors in Car­il­lion’s col­lapse, as spi­ralling costs and con­struc­tion prob­lems pushed its bills up and forced it into the red.

Mean­while, six schools in Ire­land are fac­ing an anx­ious wait to see if new class­rooms will be open for the be­gin­ning of term af­ter wran­gling over pay­ment to sub-con­trac­tors con­tin­ued to de­lay build­ing work.

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