Carillion installed cladding that breached fire safety regulations on its £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital, the hospital’s bosses have revealed.
In its latest update on the stalled hospital project, the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust said cladding that did not comply with fire safety regulations had been discovered and would now need to be replaced.
The trust said it had sought assurances from Carillion prior to its collapse that the cladding installed met all regulatory requirements.
In Carillion’s response, published by the trust, the contractor confirmed that all cladding had been specified and installed to meet the required standards of fire safety.
Carillion added that it had also been designed to comply with hospital fire safety requirements.
However, engineer Arup, which is currently carrying out a review of the hospital, has confirmed that this is not the case and remediation work is needed.
According to Arup, the hospital requires further structural improvements, as well as replacement cladding.
Laing O’Rourke was understood to have been lined up to replace Carillion as the Royal Liverpool’s contractor; however, an agreement has not yet been reached.
The hospital said the work to correct Carillion’s faults had added complexity to reaching a final estimate for the costs to complete the project.
The statement said that, despite these issues, the hospital’s funders – the European Investment Bank and Legal & General – still wanted to find a way to continue supporting the scheme.
It added that this would be the quickest route to getting the hospital completed.
The trust added that if funders were no longer able to support the scheme, it would have to seek government support similar to the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.
The government confirmed last month that it would directly fund the completion of the Midland Met after a PF2 approach failed to attract interest.
Analysis by Deloitte estimated the contract for the completion of the Midland hospital would be worth £319m.
The trust’s statement said that the Royal Liverpool was far closer to completion that the Midland Met, with a greater appetite from funders to continue funding the scheme.
Earlier this week, CN reported that the Royal Liverpool Hospital would have the option to declare the project in default from 30 September.
The 30 September was listed as Carillion’s date of completion for the scheme. As a result of this being missed, the trust has the ability to terminate the entire private finance initiative deal.