Trust hopes Balfour will start Midland Met in December

6 September 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

The NHS Trust in charge of the Midland Met hospital, whose construction stalled following the collapse of Carillion last year, is hopeful Balfour Beatty can start on site in December.

Balfour Beatty’s contract to finish the £267m hospital build is still awaiting approval from the government.

In newly published board papers from the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, chief executive Toby Lewis said that the plan was still to open the hospital in 2022.

He said: “Work with Balfour Beatty on the early works contract and the final completion contract are proceeding well. A route to site recommencement in December remains, contingent on one final approval of the scheme over coming weeks.

“Some current estimates of cost overage are outlined, notwithstanding the evolving nature of the final cost to complete and the different ways in which cost and lifetime cost can be reasonably analysed. A simple construction cost difference is not, perhaps, the most relevant way to consider the position.”

The cost of completing the hospital is being met by central government rather than the NHS Trust, after the Trust ended the private finance contract with Carillion’s PFI joint venture – the Hospital Company (Sandwell) – in July last year and took back control of the site.

The board of the Trust approved its final business case to complete the hospital in June this year and expected external approval from government last month. Lewis’s report said: “While that timetable has not been achieved, it remains possible to restart on site at the outset of December. This would, probably, secure 2022 opening before mid-summer. This timetable is achievable if a deal is reached in October.

“The dual steps required prior to that involve confirmation of supply chain pricing by our preferred bidder, which is nearing completion and formal HMG (government) approval of permission to contract with Balfour Beatty.”

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