Further delay for Royal Liverpool Hospital PPP

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Further delay for Royal Liverpool Hospital PPP

The chief executive of Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust has announced that the construction of the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital will not be completed on time. This is the third time that the project’s completion date has been pushed back by the contractor, Carillion.

Carillion was awarded a 30-year concession for the construction and operation of a new hospital in Liverpool, in the north-west of England, in May 2013. The project will replace the existing Royal Liverpool University Hospital, which opened in 1978.

It will be the largest hospital in the UK with 646 beds, including a 40-bed Critical Care Unit, 18 operating theatres and one of the largest emergency departments in the region. The new hospital will also have an underground car park for patients and visitors, and bus stops on site.

The initial handover date was in March 2017. However, in January last year cracks were discovered in two concrete beams, mandating significant remedial work. Carillion also blamed extensive asbestos. A new handover date was set for March 2018.

Now that it is clear that Carillion will not complete construction by then, the opening date of the hospital, supposedly June 2018, is in serious doubt. Carillion have stated that they intend for hospital staff to move into the building in the summer. However, an official revised completion date has not been announced.

The project, which follows a public-private partnership model, reached financial close in December 2013. The PPP deal saw the contractor invest £15.5 million (US$21,02 million) equity in the project, with Scottish Widows Investment Partnership contributing a similar amount.

At the time, Carillion estimated the return over the 30-year concession period would generate £200 million (US$271,22 million) as well as a further £100m (US$135,61 million) from delivering non-clinical support services.

Of course, these initial estimates did not factor in the construction delays. It has been agreed that Carillion will meet the costs of the development from March 2017, the proposed handover date, until the project is handed over.

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