An independent review into Aberdeen’s new maternity hospital and cancer centre has concluded that costs have spiralled by around £50 million.
The Evening Express exclusively revealed in September that Brexit uncertainty had been partly blamed for the cost of the new Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre rocketing by millions of pounds.
Now an independent review of the project costs has concluded, with the results understood to confirm the £50m figure, taking the overall project cost to more than £200m.
Progress is expected in the coming months, with the NHS Grampian board due to consider a full business case for the project in February.
This would then require approval from the Scottish Government before construction work on the project can begin.
Until then, the timescale for delivering the hospital and cancer centre, which were initially due to open next year, remain “under review”.
Scottish Conservative north-east MSP Peter Chapman said the project would provide an “excellent facility” and benefit the level of care patients receive in the area.
But he added: “Yet again, a major project under the SNP Government is running over budget and facing delays, which is unacceptable.
“The Scottish Government has made a series of astonishingly bad mistakes in Glasgow and Edinburgh and needs to come clean on the extent of the delays in Aberdeen.
“Patients also deserve to know why costs have spiralled on the project at Foresterhill.
“Everything must be done to ensure the development of the Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Unit doesn’t become a disorganised mess like the projects in Edinburgh and Glasgow.”
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The health board previously admitted challenges within the construction sector and wider uncertainty regarding Brexit, plus the economic position, were reflected in the rise in costs.
An NHS Grampian spokesman said: “The full business case will be considered by the board of NHS Grampian in February and thereafter the Scottish Government Capital Investment Group.
“We are also using the opportunity to review the design of the facilities in light of the learning from the projects in Glasgow and Lothian, and this will be undertaken during January and February.
“NHS Grampian is fully committed to the project and continues to have the full support of the Scottish Government.
“Patients will continue to receive excellent care and treatment at our existing facilities until the new buildings open.”
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said the “most important thing” is to make sure the facility is of the highest quality it can be.
He said: “The key thing is that when these new facilities are built, they need to be absolutely state-of-the art and that means including provision to avoid the issues in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
“I think it’s always important to get value for the taxpayers’ money, but at the same time, the hospital and cancer centre will have to provide a service for generations of people in the north-east.
“The most important thing is to get it right and make sure it has the highest quality facilities it can. The Scottish Government has promised to learn the lessons of Edinburgh and Glasgow.”
A public inquiry will be held into the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh, which was due to open last summer and is delayed until autumn this year.
It will also investigate water contamination problems and ventilation issues at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “NHS Grampian will submit their full business case to the NHS Capital Investment Group for review next month. We look forward to receiving the business case and remain fully committed to supporting the delivery of this project.”