Hospital left standing empty following Carillion collapse labelled creaking monument to greed
A hospital which has been left standing empty following the collapse of construction firm Carillion has been labelled a creaking monument to greed.
Birkenhead MP Frank Field made the demining assessment in the wake of the Parliamentary report into the demise of the building firm.
Work on the £335m Royal Liverpool Hospital came to a halt in February a month after Carillion filed for voluntary liquidation.
There have been calls from local MPs for the Government to intervene to ensure the 646-bed hospital can be completed.
The construction of the hospital was already running a year late when Carillion collapsed with debts of £1.5bn.
Labour’s Frank Field, who chairs the parliamentary work and pensions committee, said the hospital now “stands gathering cobwebs, as a creaking monument to the greed and hubris of Carillion’s directors”.
He added: “A board of directors too busy stuffing their mouths with gold to show any concern for the welfare of their workforce or their pensioners.
“They rightly face investigation of their fitness to run a company again. This is a disgraceful example of how much of our capitalism is allowed to operate, waved through by a cosy club of auditors, conflicted at every turn.
“Government urgently needs to come to Parliament with radical reforms to our creaking system of corporate accountability. British industry is too important to be left in the hands of the likes of the shysters at the top of Carillion.”
He went on: ““The Royal Liverpool Hospital stands gathering cobwebs, as a creaking monument to the greed and hubris of Carillion’s directors.
“Our investigation found that it was at the forefront of the accountancy tricks Carillion used to convince the outside world that all was rosy. For the people of Merseyside, no sign of their promised new hospital in sight, the reality is all too apparent.”
Louise Ellman MP added that the hospital is 80 or 90% complete but “cannot be opened” until a new contractor is appointed.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Carillion’s collapse cannot and must not delay completion of the Royal Liverpool University Hospital any longer than it already has done.
“We are talking about a vital public service and we need to see Jeremy Hunt and the Department of Health take a much more prominent role in getting things moving.”
MPs investigating the collapse of Carillion have called on the Competiion and Markets Authority to “look at the break-up of the Big Four accountancy firms”.
The inquiry by the Work and Pensions and BEIS Committees has also scathing about the way Carillion was run, with the inquiry’s final report concluding that “the mystery is not that it collapsed, but that it lasted so long”.
The report also points the finger at Government, arguing it has “lacked the decisiveness or bravery” to address the failures in corporate regulation that allowed Carillion to become a “giant and unsustainable corporate time bomb”.
So far 2,300 people have been made redundant in the wake of Carillion appointing liquidators in January.
A further 3,000 people are currently retained to enable Carillion to deliver its remaining services.