Contractors bidding to build Aberdeen’s new maternity hospital and cancer centre may go “back to the drawing board” after problems in Edinburgh and Glasgow, an MSP claimed today.
NHS Grampian has admitted challenges within the construction sector and wider uncertainty regarding Brexit, plus the economic position, are reflected in the spiralling cost and an independent review has been launched.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald claimed another factor that could be influencing the tenders was the “chaos” surrounding the construction of two flagship hospitals in Glasgow and Edinburgh, claiming contractors may have gone “back to the drawing board”.
He said: “Potential bidders may have gone back to the drawing board in what they want to cover.
“It would appear that some of the things that should have been done haven’t been done (in Glasgow and Edinburgh).
“I guess the whole market takes a look at that and realises there are some corners you cannot cut and that should mean a bit of quality.”
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A new director has been appointed to oversee the opening of the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh, which was due to open this summer but has been delayed until 2020 amid safety issues.
Final checks revealed parts of the building’s ventilation system did not meet national standards.
Meanwhile, calls have been made for a public inquiry into construction issues at Glasgow’s super-hospital campus, including ventilation concerns.
The Scottish Government has provided £163.7m of capital funding for Aberdeen’s new maternity hospital and cancer centre but costs are understood to be coming in around £50m higher.
NHS Grampian previously confirmed it would review the design of the facilities in light of learning obtained from the projects in both Glasgow and Lothian.
A spokesman for NHS Grampian said: “As is common to any major infrastructure project, ongoing design assurance is a feature.
“This process, which will reflect learning from other projects, can result in minor amendments to design.”
Initial works on the family hospital – which will include maternity, neo-natal, breast and gynaecology services – and cancer centre were completed in early July as planned.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We remain fully committed to supporting the delivery of this project and we will continue to work with NHS Grampian following the completion of their independent cost review.”