Rescue deal for new Royal hospital
26 September 2018, 06:38 | Updated: 26 September 2018, 06:40
Campaigners have welcomed news that work on building a new hospital, which stopped after the collapse of engineering giant Carillion, is to be completed.
The £335 million Royal Liverpool Hospital will be finished with Government money.
Building work stopped earlier this year, pushing its completion well beyond the original finishing date.
Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS Trust said: "The collapse of Carillion created an unprecedented situation with numerous complex legal and commercial issues that we have been working hard to try to find a solution to, alongside the various parties involved.
"All parties have been committed to getting an agreement that enables construction to restart as soon as possible.
"Today our Board of Directors agreed that this could not be achieved within the existing PFI agreement and that this agreement should be terminated after the 30 September 'long-stop date'.
"We have now reached an agreement in principle with The Hospital Company (Liverpool) on the way forward for the new Royal.
"Subject to detailed Government approvals, and legal agreements being finalised, we intend to have a managed termination process after 30 September, by which the benefit of the analyses and pre-works discussions by the lenders will be transferred to the Trust.
"This will see The Hospital Company (Liverpool) hand over its contracts for construction, supply chain and facilities management, to the Trust, over the course of the next few months.
"This is now the fastest way in which we can see construction on the new Royal restarted and means we have outlined a process for doing so.
"This is really positive news for our staff, patients and the people of Liverpool. We now have a solution and can work on moving forward."
Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: "The belated decision by the government to step in to complete the build of the Royal Liverpool hospital would not have happened without the pressure of unions, Labour politicians and the people of Liverpool.
"The fact that it has taken so long for the government to step in, is in itself a scandal.
"Not only were they asleep at the wheel when Carillion collapsed, their slumbering inaction meant months of delays and uncertainty while building work on the Royal Liverpool hospital stood still.
"The priority now is to get the new Liverpool Royal built and to ensure that it is owned by the public the hospital will serve.
"Given the problems associated with the hospital project, the people of Liverpool need to be reassured that the hospital will be safe and structurally sound, to begin doing that we need the Trust to publish the structural survey detailing the defects on the hospital.
"The Trust also needs to ensure that when a new contractor is appointed they ensure that workers are directly employed, that unions are recognised and given access and that any form of blacklisting is absolutely outlawed."