Royal Hospital for Sick Children

Severe weather causes further delays to Edinburgh children’s hospital

The much-delayed Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh is now scheduled to open in autumn 2018, a full year later than originally planned.

NHS Lothian said severe weather was partly to blame for the latest delays to the £150 million facility at Little France on the outskirts of the city.

The initial deadline for the project was autumn 2017.

In August this year, the health board said put back the opening date to spring 2018 to ensure the “safe and effective” opening of the hospital, which will serve youngsters right across the east of Scotland.

A further update has been issued by NHS Lothian, blaming factors including bad weather, and saying the “aim” was to open the hospital in autumn 2018.

NHS Lothian deputy chief executive, Jim Crombie, said: “We established a contract with IHSL Limited in 2015 to build our world class children’s hospital and it was due to be completed in July 2017.

“Unfortunately we have suffered unexpected initial delays on site, which included the liquidation of a crucial sub-contractor, severe weather and issues surrounding piling works.

“We remain committed to delivering this flagship facility in a timely manner and to the highest of standards.”

He added: “We are working with the contractors to open the hospital as soon as possible and aim for moves to take place by autumn 2018.

“Our forensic work with IHSL and Multiplex will continue through regular meetings over the coming weeks.”

The new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh is a £150m project to replace facilities for children at Sciennes near the centre of Edinburgh, and at the Western General Hospital and Royal Edinburgh Hospital, with a purpose-built complex.

The hospital was originally supposed to be open by the winter of 2012, only to be held up by a protracted land swap deal.

The opening was delayed again last year after Dunne Group and JB Brickwork, two of the companies working on construction of the hospital, entered administration and provisional liquidation respectively resulting in a temporary pause to their work streams.

Edinburgh’s £150m Sick Kids Hospital hit by further delay

RHSC + DCN view from aboveThe opening of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh has been delayed for another two months, it has emerged.

NHS Lothian said the £150 million facility at Little France on the outskirts of the city will now not be open until spring 2018 at the earliest.

The replacement hospital was originally supposed to be open by the winter of 2012, only to be held up by a protracted land swap deal.

The opening was delayed again last year after Dunne Group and JB Brickwork, two of the companies working on construction of the hospital, entered administration and provisional liquidation respectively resulting in a temporary pause to their work streams.

The health board said it was putting back the opening date to ensure the “safe and effective” opening of the hospital, which will serve youngsters right across the east of Scotland.

Jacquie Campbell, chief officer for acute services at NHS Lothian, told Forth News: “This is a huge project and it’s vital that we the building is fully operational before it opens to ensure we provide the best possible care to all our patients.

“Staff are being kept up to date with any developments on moving dates.”

Construction work on the hospital started in early 2015. The project is the first acute hospital facility to be procured under the Scottish Government’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model.

‘Design flaws to blame’ for Royal Hospital for Sick Children delay

RHSC + DCN view from abovePressure to meet deadlines and “seriously flawed” designs are to blame for a six month delay to the opening of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, according to an architect behind the project.

Robert Menzies has claimed that construction of the £150 million hospital was rushed despite repeated warnings of potential design problems.

IHS Lothian Ltd, the consortium building the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, last week informed NHS Lothian that they are reviewing the construction timetable for the project which was scheduled to open autumn 2017.

The announcement followed news that the Dunne Group and JB Brickwork, two of the companies working on construction of the hospital, entered administration and provisional liquidation respectively, resulting in a temporary pause to their work streams.

However, in a letter to The Herald, experienced healthcare architect Mr Menzies said clinicians’ complaints that the layout would be “totally useless” and “completely unacceptable” were ignored.

He said columns blocking the middle of rooms, lack of daylight and difficulties of trying to use the central atrium as a dual purpose outpatients’ waiting room and exhibition space with patients’ cinema were among the flaws.

Mr Menzies, who was also involved in the design of the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow, was working for BMJ Architects in Glasgow when the firm was hired by NHS Lothian, jointly with Nightingale Associates, to draw up an “exemplar design” for the new Edinburgh children’s hospital.

The exemplar is a template design that is used as a guide layout by architects subsequently bidding for a construction contract.

However, Mr Menzies said the exemplar process was complicated by numerous redesigns as the health board switched from requesting only a children’s hospital to incorporating an extension of the existing adult neurological department into the site. It then dropped the neurological unit before re-incorporating it again when the project went from being publicly-funded to a PFI scheme.

Speaking to The Herald, Mr Menzies, who is now retired, said he became increasingly concerned that flaws in the exemplar design were not being ironed out because of pressure to keep to schedule.

He said: “There was pressure to get this up and running. The problem with the exemplar design system is that you’re rushing to meet a deadline and you don’t have time to work things out.”

However, Mr Menzies, who went on to compete unsuccessfully for the construction contract, said the NHS project managers warned bidders they would lose points for diverging from the exemplar layout.

He said he believes his team lost out because it was “quicker and easier” for the health board to stick to the original layout.

NHS Lothian confirmed the hospital will not open as originally scheduled due to “unavoidable technical construction problems”, poor weather and financial problems affecting two of the contractors, though a spokeswoman said the “technical construction problems” were unrelated to the building’s design.

IHS Lothian Ltd is yet to provide a revised programme however NHS Lothian said early indications suggest that the building will now open to patients in spring 2018.

Collapsed firms delay Edinburgh’s £150m Sick Kids hospital

RHSC + DCN view from aboveThe opening of a £150 million hospital in Edinburgh has been delayed by at least six months after construction firms entered administration and provisional liquidation.

IHS Lothian Ltd, the consortium building the £150m Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, has informed NHS Lothian that they are reviewing the construction timetable for the project which was scheduled to open autumn 2017.

The consortium is yet to provide a revised programme however NHS Lothian said early indications suggest that the building will now open to patients in spring 2018.

The announcement comes after Dunne Group and JB Brickwork, two of the companies working on construction of the hospital, entered administration and provisional liquidation respectively resulting in a temporary pause to their work streams. Progress has also been hindered by unfavourable winter weather and unavoidable technical construction problems.

The Dunne Group, which was responsible for construction of the concrete frame, ground works and associated support services such as tower cranes, entered into administration last month. More recently JB Brickwork, which provided materials and labour to construct brickwork services, entered provisional liquidation.

RHSC + DCN view from aboveIHS Lothian Ltd consists of Macquarie Capital as sole sponsor and exclusive financial advisor, Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe (Design and Build Contractor) and Bouygues E&S (Facilities Management provider).

NHS Lothian said while the contractors have been able to lessen the impacts of some of these issues, with increased staffing and working hours along with altered construction methods, they are now looking at a revised programme schedule.

Jim Crombie, acting chief executive, NHS Lothian, said: “We will continue to work closely with IHS Lothian Ltd to ensure that our state of the art new hospital is delivered as soon as possible.

“Projects of this scale and, of this nature, are very rarely straightforward and bring with them many complex and sometimes unavoidable challenges. It is important to note that these alterations to the construction timetable will not result in any additional costs to NHS Lothian.

“Whilst this change is frustrating for our patients and staff, we must not forget that construction of this impressive new building is continuing and that much work has already been achieved. In addition, the project has already created a host of new entrant jobs for local people, including apprentices and graduate opportunities.”

RHSC front entranceConstruction work on the hospital started in early 2015. The project is the first acute hospital facility to be procured under the Scottish Government’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model.

Building work continues on site and a revised construction programme from IHS Lothian Ltd is expected in October.

Turf cut on £150m Royal Hospital for Sick Children

RHSC + DCN view from aboveTwo young patients marked the start of construction at the new Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Edinburgh earlier this week.

The £150 million building, which is anticipated to open in autumn 2017, will see services from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service co-located in a modern and high-quality setting.

The hospital will adjoin the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh via a link building connecting both child and adult Emergency Departments.

The six storey hospital will have a helipad on the roof, a large atrium with shops and a café, a stunning skylight and a specifically designed family hotel.

The project is the first acute hospital facility to be procured under the Scottish Government’s Non Profit Distributing (NPD) model.

Enabling works (including road works, bus stop relocations, sewerage works and service diversions) to prepare the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh site at Little France for the new building have been ongoing since summer 2013.

Brian Houston, chair, NHS Lothian said: “The start of this work is the culmination of many years of hard work and determination.

“We look forward with a great deal of excitement to seeing this new development taking shape over the coming years.

“The new building will bring many benefits for our patients, their families and our staff, not least a purpose-built facility designed to meet their needs.

“Throughout the extensive planning and design process we have taken into account what really matters to people, and with the invaluable input of patients and their families, our charity partners and staff we will have a building we can be proud of.”

IHS Lothian Ltd consisting of Macquarie Capital as sole sponsor and exclusive financial advisor, Brookfield Multiplex (Design and Build Contractor) and Bouygues E&S (Facilities Management provider) were appointed as the preferred bidder for the site in March 2014.

Mark Bradshaw of Macquarie Capital said: “Macquarie Capital and IHS Lothian are very excited about the breaking ground on the new hospital, a major milestone for any new project. It’s great that we have some current patients marking the event which will lead to significant benefits for the patients of the future.”

The new hospital will have a total of 233 beds and 10 theatres. 11 neurology beds will be added to the critical care department within the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh as part of the project.

A fly through video of the development is available here.

Contracts agreed and works to start on major Edinburgh hospital

Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh and Department of Clinical Neurosciences view from above

Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh and Department of Clinical Neurosciences view from above

Construction of a major new healthcare facility in Edinburgh is set to start after the financial contracts were agreed.

The news follows the approval of the full business case by the Scottish Government and financial close for the project.

The new £150 million co-located building will see services from the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Clinical Neurosciences and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service brought together in a modern and high-quality setting at Little France.

Construction works will start over the course of the next few weeks and the new building, which will adjoin the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, is anticipated to open in autumn 2017.

The six storey building (including basement) will have a large atrium with a shop and café, a stunning skylight linking both hospital entrances, a helipad on the roof and a link building adjoining adult and paediatric emergency departments.

It will also bring with it an increase in single rooms with ensuite facilities and a range of new technology.

Health secretary Shona Robison, said: “This is a momentous date for this project and I’m personally very pleased that work will soon be about to begin on the new co-located Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

“The new development brings paediatric care, specialist neonatal care, neurosciences and adult and children’s emergency departments all together in one place, making access to services much easier for patients and health professionals alike.

“The Scottish Government is investing over £2 billion in Scotland’s health infrastructure over the spending review period, with this development being one of many that demonstrate the Scottish Government’s commitment to continually improving health services. The investment in this development will ensure the hospital campus at Little France can continue to develop as a modern hub of research and medical practice.”

Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh and Department of Clinical NeurosciencesSusan Goldsmith, finance director, NHS Lothian, said: “We are delighted to have reached this point and now look forward with anticipation to seeing the new facility taking shape over the coming years.

“This is an extremely exciting time in the proud history of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, along with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, which will find a high-quality new home at Little France from 2017.

“The building designs have been heavily influenced by staff, patients and families and, in addition to offering a modern, light and spacious environment, will also enhance the clinical services we deliver.”

Peter Reekie, Scottish Futures Trust, deputy chief executive and director of investments, added: “This is a fantastic deal for NHS Lothian and its partners, bringing investment into the Lothians and allowing construction to start on a great new building which will support many hundreds of jobs as it is built.”