Aecom, Ryder Architecture and Squibb Demolition already working on Whipps Cross scheme

The NHS trust behind the redevelopment of Whipps Cross hospital in east London has given the government back more than £10m in funding after it failed to spend it on the construction programme last year because of covid.

Barts Health NHS trust was one of six hospital trusts to be handed a share of £2.7bn by the government in 2019 as part of the first phase of the government’s health infrastructure plan.

Whipps Cross

The existing Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone

Since then, the trust has been among the most advanced in the government’s 40-hospital programme, bringing in Ryder Architecture to design the new facility and last month appointing Squibb Demolition to begin the process of clearing the site. Aecom has also been picked to act as project manager.

But the trust said the schedule for the work had slipped which meant it was handing back £10.7m in unused funding.

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In papers published ahead of its board meeting later today (5 May), the trust did not detail how exactly the programme had slipped in the past 12 months but the competitive tender process for a main contractor, which was due to start early this year, is yet to begin in earnest.

Another of the other original six trusts, Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS trust, has previously raised concerns about the impact of covid on its own programme, saying it was one of several factors that could make the project to redevelop St Helier Hospital “unaffordable”.