Construction of Midlands hospital still delayed after Carillion collapse

The government is in talks with West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to resuscitate the delayed construction of the £350m Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

Construction of the hospital, located in Smethwick in the Black Country, has been paused since the collapse of Carillion in January. The construction giant was building the hospital on behalf of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals Trust. The 669-bed hospital was due to open in 2019, but there are now concerns it will open on time.

Prime Minister Theresa May said in the House of Commons that cabinet minister David Liddington was working with mayor Andy Street to find a solution.

When asked by  Black Country MP John Spellar about the progress of the “two thirds-finished” hospital, May said the government was working to resolve the issue.

“The Department for Health and Social Care is working actively on it, but also the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Liddington) is doing so,” she said.

“He has also been in discussions with the Mayor of the West Midland, Andy Street, who has also been in discussions with the Trust.”

May added that the contract between the trust and the private finance initiative company is still in place, and the PFI company is “contractually obliged to manage the project and find another subcontractor who can continue to deliver the building work and the services”.

However, May said there were delays to the project before the collapse of Carillion.