Bosses want work to resume next spring to hit revised 2022 opening date

The NHS trust trying to find a replacement to complete the Birmingham hospital left in the lurch by Carillion’s collapse earlier this year has admitted getting someone to step in is still giving it headaches.

In board papers published ahead of its latest meeting today (1 November), the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust said the risk of not being able to find a firm prepared to take over the Midland Met site next year was still significant.

The trust is hoping the scheme in Smethwick will finish by 2022.

But it said the possibility remained that "the procurement process for the replacement financier and contractor does not result in a compliant bid in 2019 because of insufficient market availability resulting in Midland Met delivery delay beyond 2022".

On its monthly risk register the trust gave that possibility an amber rating, with a risk score of 12 out of a possible 25.

While the rating means the trust still rates the possibility as a significant risk, the figure has fallen since the last report when the issue was rated red with a risk score of 20.

The trust's Estates Major Projects Authority Committee also flagged "market appetite for final contract bidding in the event of approval delay or prolongation" as further potential issues.

carillion midland met

The site has been at a standstill since January

In the papers, trust chief executive Toby Lewis said the final costs on the project, which government agreed to fund in August, would not be known until the project reached commercial close in 2019.

Lewis said building work was expected to commence in spring next year.

Balfour Beatty is currently onsite to carry out a six-month early works programme to restore and weatherproof the project.

The hospital, which was designed by a team of HKS, Edward Williams Architects and Sonnemann Toon Architects, was originally due to open in the middle of this year.