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Remedial work starts on half-built Royal Liverpool Hospital

Royal Liverpool University Hospital by HKS and NBBJ
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Remediation work is finally set to get underway next month on HKS and NBBJ’s troubled Royal Liverpool Hospital project, as details emerged of the scale of the mess left by collapsed contractor Carillion

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust chief executive Mike Eastwood said in a board report that a detailed programme of work had been finalised to fix structural issues at the 646-bed scheme.

The long-awaited hospital project was left in limbo when Carillion went into liquidation at the start of 2018. Structural and cladding problems with the works completed to that point were identified in a report by Arup later last year.

Laing O’Rourke was eventually appointed to finish the scheme and last November began a process of undoing certain works to prepare for the remediation phase. 

It is understood that the Dartford-based contractor’s job over the past six months has included stripping piping out of a plant room and making space in other areas for fresh steel and concrete.

Eastwood said in his report that the forthcoming remedial works were ‘complex’ and would ’take time to complete’.

’They involve strengthening existing beams and reducing the loads that are causing structural issues,’ he added. ’These works will ensure the building is finished to the standards required so we can deliver the world-class hospital we’ve all been waiting for.’

His report added that procurement was underway on 141 works packages for the hospital scheme ‘covering everything from structural works to taps’.

It stated: ‘In some cases this is a complex process and the values for some packages require approval from the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). Once we have the final programme from Laing O’Rourke, we can finalise our business case. This is to be considered at Trust Board in June 2019 before going to NHS Improvement/England and the DHSC for final approval.’

Eastwood’s report to the board also revealed that £3 million had been spent in the second half of last year on maintaining the yet-to-be-finished hospital. This included services such as flushing water and running power and heating. ‘While these costs are significant, the cost of replacing degraded systems could be far higher and funding is in place for this ongoing essential maintenance,’ he said.

Although a final programme has yet to be agreed, it was estimated last October that 18 months’ work remained on the project, which will provide 646 bedrooms across 23 wards as well as 18 operating theatres, a large emergency department and a clinical research facility.

HKS and NBBJ won the design deal for the scheme in 2013. The project was initially scheduled to complete in 2017. 

HKS said when Laing O’Rourke was appointed that both practices expected to resume work on the project. Both have been contacted for comment on the latest developments.

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Readers' comments (2)

  • The main contractor collapsing in a cloud of extremely toxic dust is one thing, but to have left a large and nearly completed hospital with - inter alia - 'structural issues' is surely beyond the pale.
    If this isn't ringing warning bells for those responsible for the quality of the building control regime, the quality of the structural design, the quality of site supervision - really, the quality of quality management in the building construction sector in this country - then the reputation of all the professions involved, from politician to designer to site agent, will collapse.

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  • The 'structural issues' have today reached the BBC news headlines; Could there be similar issues in other work by Carillion?

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