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Thousands of building snags found at unusable hospital Thousands of building snags found at unusable hospital
(about 8 hours later)
An unusable children's hospital still had thousands of snagging problems after a health board accepted it as ready, new documents show.An unusable children's hospital still had thousands of snagging problems after a health board accepted it as ready, new documents show.
The Sick Kids facility in Edinburgh will not be fully operational until next autumn after last-minute safety concerns stopped it opening in July.The Sick Kids facility in Edinburgh will not be fully operational until next autumn after last-minute safety concerns stopped it opening in July.
Minutes of the dedicated NHS Lothian board overseeing the project show there were 2,000 snagging issues in May.Minutes of the dedicated NHS Lothian board overseeing the project show there were 2,000 snagging issues in May.
This was nearly three months after the health board took over the facility.This was nearly three months after the health board took over the facility.
Repayments for the hospital building - the equivalent of about £1.4m a month - started when NHS Lothian moved into the hospital in February.Repayments for the hospital building - the equivalent of about £1.4m a month - started when NHS Lothian moved into the hospital in February.
But minutes of the project board show members had repeated concerns about the "poor standard" of work and "defects" throughout the delayed construction project.But minutes of the project board show members had repeated concerns about the "poor standard" of work and "defects" throughout the delayed construction project.
This includes a failure to properly fit fire detectors in the building's voids.This includes a failure to properly fit fire detectors in the building's voids.
The documents also show more than £2m was diverted from the new hospital's "equipment budget contingency" in order to offset increased construction costs.The documents also show more than £2m was diverted from the new hospital's "equipment budget contingency" in order to offset increased construction costs.
'Not up to standard''Not up to standard'
A public inquiry to examine safety and wellbeing issues at the new hospital has been called by the Scottish government.A public inquiry to examine safety and wellbeing issues at the new hospital has been called by the Scottish government.
The private consortium IHSL, which built the facility, has pointed out that its works on the hospital were signed off as complete by an independent certifier on 22 February before NHS Lothian moved in.The private consortium IHSL, which built the facility, has pointed out that its works on the hospital were signed off as complete by an independent certifier on 22 February before NHS Lothian moved in.
Daniel Johnson, Labour MSP for Edinburgh Southern, said: "With thousands of outstanding issues months after the NHS had accepted handover of the new Sick Kids hospital, it is clear that this project had critical failings.Daniel Johnson, Labour MSP for Edinburgh Southern, said: "With thousands of outstanding issues months after the NHS had accepted handover of the new Sick Kids hospital, it is clear that this project had critical failings.
"The key question is why it took the government until the 11th hour to step in when it is now clear there were multiple warning signs that the new building was not up to standard."The key question is why it took the government until the 11th hour to step in when it is now clear there were multiple warning signs that the new building was not up to standard.
"The sheer volume of problems, additional payments to the contractor and issues found at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital [in Glasgow] should have prompted a root and branch review of the delivery this much needed hospital months earlier." "The sheer volume of problems, additional payments to the contractor and issues found at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital [in Glasgow] should have prompted a root and branch review of the delivery of this much needed hospital months earlier."
The Scottish government has been approached for a comment.The Scottish government has been approached for a comment.
The NHS Lothian minutes, released under Freedom of Information laws, from May 2017 show the board reporting on how "many quality issues are emerging" and cited issues with damage to doors, power supplies and "a poor standard of decoration/finishing quality".The NHS Lothian minutes, released under Freedom of Information laws, from May 2017 show the board reporting on how "many quality issues are emerging" and cited issues with damage to doors, power supplies and "a poor standard of decoration/finishing quality".
The minutes then spell out how a dispute between NHS Lothian and IHSL began over standards of construction.The minutes then spell out how a dispute between NHS Lothian and IHSL began over standards of construction.
A planned legal challenge against the construction consortium was dropped in favour of paying IHSL £11.6m to settle the outstanding issues - a move approved by the Scottish government.A planned legal challenge against the construction consortium was dropped in favour of paying IHSL £11.6m to settle the outstanding issues - a move approved by the Scottish government.
This was to address concerns over issues such as the site's drainage not working properly and the fitting of automatic fire detection systems in the building's voids.This was to address concerns over issues such as the site's drainage not working properly and the fitting of automatic fire detection systems in the building's voids.
By May of this year the minutes noted "there are currently 2000 snags on the system" and pointed to "high level concerns" about the "large number of building related 'defects'".By May of this year the minutes noted "there are currently 2000 snags on the system" and pointed to "high level concerns" about the "large number of building related 'defects'".
The new Sick Children's Hospital cost about £150m to build, but its full price tag over the next 25 years, including maintenance and facilities management fees, will be £432m.The new Sick Children's Hospital cost about £150m to build, but its full price tag over the next 25 years, including maintenance and facilities management fees, will be £432m.
In addition to this outlay, £81.7m was spent by NHS Lothian on enabling and equipment works at the site.In addition to this outlay, £81.7m was spent by NHS Lothian on enabling and equipment works at the site.
This was more than first anticipated and the minutes show that board, which included senior members of the Scottish Futures Trust government agency, agreed that "£2.3m of the £3.3m equipment budget contingency should be used to balance the capital programme". This was more than first anticipated and the minutes show that the board, which included senior members of the Scottish Futures Trust government agency, agreed that "£2.3m of the £3.3m equipment budget contingency should be used to balance the capital programme".
A spokesman for Multiplex, which was part of the IHSL consortium, said his firm welcomed the public inquiry into the issue and would not be commenting further.A spokesman for Multiplex, which was part of the IHSL consortium, said his firm welcomed the public inquiry into the issue and would not be commenting further.
The firm previously pointed out its works on the building "were signed off as complete by the independent certifier on 22nd February 2019".The firm previously pointed out its works on the building "were signed off as complete by the independent certifier on 22nd February 2019".
NHS Lothian was approached for a comment on 7 October but has not responded so far.NHS Lothian was approached for a comment on 7 October but has not responded so far.