Midland Met hospital opening delayed again after Carillion collapse

Photo of the Midland Met hospital with cranes set against a blue sky (Image: Dreamstime)
The Midland Met hospital in January 2022 (Image: Dreamstime)

The Midland Met hospital in Birmingham, construction of which faltered after Carillion collapsed, will now not open until 2024.

Construction on the project in Smethwick halted in 2018 after Carillion ceased trading. Balfour Beatty took over the project in 2019. The then-chancellor Sajid Javid signed off £350m to fund the hospital’s completion, with a targeted opening date of April 2022.

But the covid-19 pandemic delayed work. Meanwhile, it emerged last year that the building’s larch cladding had failed fire tests. Balfour Beatty is now fitting the building with a new external facade in light of new fire safety regulations.

Carillion’s collapse has also led to a redesign of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, leading to further delay.

Balfour ‘steadfast’ in commitment

When it finally opens, the hospital will bring together emergency and acute services at Sandwell General Hospital and City Hospital into a single facility. Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust will operate it.

The hospital includes more than 700 beds, 11 operating theatres, an emergency department, and 15 delivery rooms for maternity services.

Mark Bullock, chief executive officer of Balfour Beatty’s UK Construction Services business, said: “We remain steadfast in our commitment to successfully completing this landmark project. Over the coming months, we will continue to work closely and collaboratively with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust and the new hospital programme team, to deliver this long-awaited healthcare facility; one that will provide significant benefits for the local community for many generations to come.”

‘High standard’

Trust chairman, Sir David Nicholson, said: “Balfour Beatty and the Trust teams have together been determined to progress the building work over the past two years and it is excellent to see just how many of the departments and clinical areas are nearing completion, to a very high standard.”

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