Contingency plans in place following Carillion collapse

14 NHS trusts affected by construction giant's demise look for reassurance services will continue

Activity appears to have stopped this week on site at the Royal Liverpool Hospital while a firm is appointed to oversee the remaining construction work

The 14 NHS trusts directly affected by the collapse of construction giant, Carillion, have unveiled emergency contingency plans to maintain essential services in the wake of the news.

BBH reported earlier this week that Carillion, one of the country's largest PFI operators, had gone into liquidation.

An announcement was made by the construction giant on Monday, revealing that a winding-up order had been made against it and a number of subsidiary firms in the group.

We have had staff deployed to the six biggest hospital sites to offer assistance, but the vast majority of Carillion staff have turned up to work as normal

The news affects 14 hospital projects across the UK, both where Carillion has been appointed as main contractor under a PFI contract, and hospitals which have already opened but are subject to ongoing estates and facilities management contracts of up to 30 years covering services including catering, cleaning, maintenance and portering.

Hospital construction contracts currently underway and affected by the announcement include the Midland Metropolitan Hospital and the Royal Liverpool Hospital, where work has stalled this week.

In fact, a Financial Times report suggested that cost overruns on the two schemes, and the £745m Aberdeen bypass contract, could have been the final nail in the coffin for the company.

Following this week’s news Toby Lewis, chief executive of the Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, said local healthcare partners were ‘anxious to re-establish timescale clarity’ for the Midland Metropolitan Hospital project.

The 669-bed hospital, which is overdue for completion, is around two thirds completed, with government ministers insisting it remains a priority.

While the NHS isn’t a particularly-large customer of Carillion, we have a duty to maintain safe, high-quality services for our patients. That’s why we have been working with trusts and with private-sector providers to have extensive contingency plans in place

The Liverpool hospital is closer to completion and will be finished, but its opening date is unclear after it was pushed back again by Carillion in December, according to the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Staff on site told the BBC this week that work had ground to a halt while another company was appointed to oversee the development moving forward.

Across the UK there are also 13 trusts where Carillion was subcontracted to provide estates and facilities management services under long-term contracts.

There are also a number of GP and community health clinics with maintenance and cleaning contracts with the company.

NHS Improvement said it was working with these trusts to ensure services were not affected, adding in a statement: “We have had staff deployed to the six biggest hospital sites to offer assistance, but the vast majority of Carillion staff have turned up to work as normal.

“While the NHS isn’t a particularly-large customer of Carillion, we have a duty to maintain safe, high-quality services for our patients. That’s why we have been working with trusts and with private-sector providers to have extensive contingency plans in place.”

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