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Carillion blames M&E design for £353m hospital delay

Carillion’s £353m Midland Metropolitan Hospital still has no opening date having been hit with a six-month delay earlier this year. 

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust said earlier this year that the completion of the £350m hospital, in Smethwick, near Birmingham, would be delayed from October 2018 to “early spring” 2019.

However, Construction News understands Carillion has yet to confirm a new date for the project’s completion, despite the trust saying in May that an exact opening date would be confirmed this summer.

The project, being built under a PFI deal, was cited as one of the problem jobs behind Carillion’s profit warning this summer, which has led to its share price tumbling and a major management shake-up. 

Carillion and the trust have blamed delays to the project’s M&E design as the reason for the setback.

Earlier this year, Carillion said the M&E design – covering heating, lighting and ventilation – was “behind schedule” and added that it was “working closely with the trust and our specialist design consultant to complete the M&E design and confirm a new completion date”.

A Carillion spokesman told Construction News: “We continue to work closely with our consultants and subcontractors who are carrying out the design and the installation of the M&E elements of the projects and also with the trust to complete the new hospital and ensure it is an outstanding facility that will enable the trust to deliver high-quality healthcare services.”

According to contract documents for the project, NG Bailey is listed as the M&E design contractor, while Aecom is listed as the M&E designer and IM&T (information management & technology) advisor.

However, NG Bailey denied it was responsible for the project’s M&E design when contacted by CN.

NG Bailey was appointed as building services partner to Carillion’s joint venture in 2015,” said a spokesperson.

“We are engaged as the M&E management consultants on the project and are responsible for managing the delivery of the M&E works packages which are being delivered by other M&E subcontractors.

“NG Bailey does not have any M&E design responsibility.

”Our team remains a committed part of the project team and is working closely with Carillion to ensure that the project remains on schedule to open in 2019.”

An Aecom spokeswoman said: “The Midland Metropolitan Hospital is an ambitious and immensely complex project. We continue to work with Carillion and their installation team to ensure that the finished building performs to the highest of standards.”

Other M&E subcontractors working under NG Bailey on the £353m hospital include MVS Mechanical Services, which started on the site this summer.

The seven-storey hospital was started in March last year and will provide 868,000 sq ft of hospital space across 10 storeys.

It will provide 670 actue inpatient beds, with two maternity wards, 12 adult inpatient wards, and 50 paediatric beds.

Despite delays to the M&E works, the project topped out in July this year.

Construction News revealed earlier this week that Carillion was second choice to rival bidder Horizon – a consortium comprising Interserve, John Laing and FCC – in the first round of bidding for its troubled £335m Royal Liverpool University Hospital contract.

The Liverpool project, which was also cited as one of the firm’s problem jobs, was initially due to be completed in March this year but has been beset by problems and delays. In January, cracks were found on two concrete beams on the project.

Carillion’s share price had fallen by 78 per cent between close of trading on July 7 and yesterday. The company is due to post a financial update next Friday.

Readers' comments (1)

  • The problems are caused by the M&E and design of the M&E - both of which are being managed by NG Bailey yet they claim it’s not their fault.

    How does that work?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

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