Scheme Carillion was building had been due to ooen in October 2018

One of the hospitals delayed by Carillion’s collapse at the beginning of 2018 will not open for another two years.

The implosion of the country’s then second biggest contractor led to huge delays on the Midland Metropolitan Hospital going up in Smethwick.

The planned super-hospital was supposed to open in October 2018 and replace A&E departments at Sandwell and City hospitals.

carillion midland met

Work on the Midland Met stalled for over a year after original contractor Carillion collapsed

Balfour Beatty was drafted onto the job in 2019 – more than a year after Carillion sank – with initial hopes the hospital would be finished in time for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

But the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS trust said work had been delayed by the impact of the pandemic while the facade had to be replaced in the wake of new fire safety regulations. It added the M&E had to be redesigned as well.

Other opening dates that came and went included spring 2023 and in an update this morning, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said it would now be ready to open in spring 2024.

Trust chair Sir David Nicholson said: “I am delighted that we are able to confirm with confidence that we will open as soon as possible following completed construction of the building, which will be handed over to the Trust before the end of 2023.

“Balfour Beatty and the Trust teams have together been determined to progress the building work over the past two years and it is excellent to see just how many of the departments and clinical areas are nearing completion, to a very high standard.”

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The new hospital includes over 700 beds, 11 operating theatres, purpose-built emergency department with collocated diagnostics, 15 delivery rooms for maternity services, and a midwife-led birthing unit. Half of the beds are in single ensuite rooms.

A second hospital job Carillion was working on when it collapsed, the Royal University Hospital in Liverpool, is on track to open this autumn.

Laing O’Rourke took over on the project in 2018 and the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the hospital is now on schedule to open in September or October this year.

Meanwhile, the prime minister’s manifesto pledge to build 40 “new” hospitals is to be reviewed by the government’s spending watchdog.

The National Audit Office (NAO) will conduct a “value for money review” later this year into the new hospital programme, which was a centrepiece of the Conservative Party’s 2019 general election manifesto.

In a letter to shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, who had raised concerns about delays resulting in major cost rises, the head of the NAO confirmed that the body was already preparing a review.

Streeting said: “The only place these ‘40 new hospitals’ currently exist is in Boris Johnson’s imagination.”

In March, the new hospitals programme revealed its first commercial pipeline of work, including 11 deals at or close to market engagement.