Work on the Royal Liverpool Hospital is set to restart, as the UK government has decided to end the private finance deal and continue work on the new hospital with public sector funding.
Work on the hospital came to a halt after the collapse of construction firm Carillion earlier in 2018.
The government has backed a proposal by The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust to end the private finance initiative (PFI) deal and continue work with public sector funding to minimise the delay in opening the hospital to patients across Merseyside.
Construction began on the new hospital, part of The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, under the PFI deal, but work stopped when Carillion, the firm carrying out the work, went into liquidation.
In spite of constructive engagement from the lenders, EIB and Legal and General, who have funded the project to date, the trust and the government concluded that they will be unable to complete and operate the hospital under the original terms.
The government has sought proposals to complete the construction within the public sector as quickly as possible and open the hospital to patients in 2020.
The new hospital will have 646 beds on 23 wards, including a modern critical care unit and a large clinical research facility. It will also feature 18 operating theatres. The emergency department will be one of the biggest in the North West.
Health Minister Steve Barclay said: “When I visited the new Royal Liverpool Hospital in May, I made clear the government’s commitment to ensuring the construction of this state-of-the-art hospital was finished.
“I am pleased to today confirm that the government will step in and publicly fund the remaining work so that the hospital is completed, as it has also done with the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Birmingham.
The minister said that the trust’s board has agreed that the PFI agreement should be terminated after 30 September 2018, which is the latest acceptable date for the hospital to be completed.
Image: A ward in an NHS trust hospital. Photo: Courtesy of GOV.UK.