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The new £500m hospital lying empty just three miles from where Theresa May launched her NHS plan



A sickening waste: The brand new £500m NHS hospital lying empty and unused just three miles from where Theresa May launched her 10-year plan

  • Theresa May went to Alder Hay Children's Hospital, Liverpool to launch NHS plan
  • But just three miles away, a brand new £500million NHS hospital stands unused
  • The 13-storey building houses top-of-the range scanners and medical equipment
  • Work ground to a halt last January following a botched private finance initiative deal with the now collapsed company Carillion

By Sophie Borland and Richard Marsden and James Tozer for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:27 EST, 7 January 2019 | Updated: 19:22 EST, 7 January 2019

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Three miles from yesterday’s NHS launch, a £500million hospital lies empty and unused.

The 13-storey building houses top-of-the range scanners and other medical equipment – and was meant to have been finished two years ago.

However work ground to a halt last January following a botched private finance initiative deal with the now collapsed company Carillion.

Prime Minister Theresa May visited the wards at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, just three miles from an unused £500million hospital. She launched her NHS Long Term Plan from the hospital yesterday
Prime Minister Theresa May visited the wards at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, just three miles from an unused £500million hospital. She launched her NHS Long Term Plan from the hospital yesterday

Prime Minister Theresa May visited the wards at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, just three miles from an unused £500million hospital. She launched her NHS Long Term Plan from the hospital yesterday

Although a new construction firm has been appointed, the Liverpool hospital is not likely to be finished until next year.

Now managers at its trust are having to employ 18 staff to turn the 4,000 taps on and off regularly in a bid to prevent the build-up of deadly legionella bacteria. 

And warranties on its brand new equipment are rapidly expiring.

At the same time, patients at the old Royal Liverpool Hospital next door – which the new hospital will replace – are facing delays to their care because the existing building is falling apart.

Three miles from yesterday’s NHS launch, a £500million hospital lies empty and unused. The exact cost to the taxpayer of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital is unknown, as it has been part-funded funded by private firms and the EU

The 13-storey building, with its atrium pictured above, houses top-of-the range scanners and other medical equipment ¿ and was meant to have been finished two years ago
The 13-storey building, with its atrium pictured above, houses top-of-the range scanners and other medical equipment ¿ and was meant to have been finished two years ago

The 13-storey building, with its atrium pictured above, houses top-of-the range scanners and other medical equipment – and was meant to have been finished two years ago

The A&E unit has been flooded ten times this year due to fractured pipes and ambulances have had to queue for up to two hours outside. 

Half of the lifts were rendered out of action during the floods making it difficult for staff to transfer patients to intensive care.

The extraordinary situation will be highlighted on Thursday in the BBC documentary series Hospital.

Staff can’t even switch off the lights in the new building as the electrics are incomplete and they remain permanently on, in a further waste of energy and money.

Last night Liverpool’s Labour mayor Joe Anderson criticised Mrs May for failing to meet him during her visit and said the new hospital could have been open if ministers had heeded his warnings.

‘I’ve seen how bad the existing Royal Liverpool Hospital building is myself,’ he said. 

‘The last time I was there, water was leaking out of an air conditioning unit and they’d put a bin underneath to catch it. It makes me feel physically sick to see the state of the exterior, and what staff and patients have to put up with every day is terrible.

Managers at its trust are having to employ 18 staff to turn the 4,000 taps on and off regularly in a bid to prevent the build-up of deadly legionella bacteria. And warranties on its brand new equipment are rapidly expiring
Managers at its trust are having to employ 18 staff to turn the 4,000 taps on and off regularly in a bid to prevent the build-up of deadly legionella bacteria. And warranties on its brand new equipment are rapidly expiring

Managers at its trust are having to employ 18 staff to turn the 4,000 taps on and off regularly in a bid to prevent the build-up of deadly legionella bacteria. And warranties on its brand new equipment are rapidly expiring

‘I wasn’t informed that Theresa May was visiting Liverpool or invited to meet her, which I believe is completely unethical.

‘It shows she’s running scared of having a debate. If she had met with me, I would have been asking for emergency funding for the existing hospital site.’ 

He said he had been warning ministers since before the collapse of Carillion that the project was in trouble.

But it was only last September that the Department of Health finally stepped in to bail out construction of the new hospital.

‘It’s another effect of the inertia which in my experience has gripped Whitehall ever since Brexit began dominating everything,’ said the mayor.

The exact cost to the taxpayer of the new Royal Liverpool Hospital is unknown, as it has been part-funded funded by private firms and the EU. 

Staff can¿t even switch off the lights in the new building as the electrics are incomplete and they remain permanently on, in a further waste of energy and money. Above, the hospital's recovery section
Staff can¿t even switch off the lights in the new building as the electrics are incomplete and they remain permanently on, in a further waste of energy and money. Above, the hospital's recovery section

Staff can’t even switch off the lights in the new building as the electrics are incomplete and they remain permanently on, in a further waste of energy and money. Above, the hospital's recovery section

Louise Ellman MP and Regional Mayor Steve Rotherham took a look inside the project. Work ground to a halt last January following a botched private finance initiative deal with the now collapsed company Carillion
Louise Ellman MP and Regional Mayor Steve Rotherham took a look inside the project. Work ground to a halt last January following a botched private finance initiative deal with the now collapsed company Carillion

Louise Ellman MP and Regional Mayor Steve Rotherham took a look inside the project. Work ground to a halt last January following a botched private finance initiative deal with the now collapsed company Carillion

But experts say the figure is at least £120million – with a further £100million needed to complete it.

In addition, managers at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals trust are having to spend up to £1million a year maintaining the old building. 

The BBC’s Hospital documentary shows how one flooding incident last year caused an electrical fault, which resulted in medical equipment malfunctioning.

Aidan Kehoe, chief executive of the trust said: ‘I am very angry at the way Carillion have behaved.

‘To leave us in this position, I think, is just unacceptable and I do look at it and think these people were taking huge bonuses that they are not paying back and will leave the people of Liverpool waiting years more for a hospital.’

Labour MP Maria Eagle, who represents Garston and Halewood in Merseyside, said: ‘Why didn’t the PM go to the Royal to launch her NHS plan? She could have taken the time to see first-hand the appalling results of her Government’s neglect of Liverpool’s NHS for the patients and staff.’

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