Timeline: Why troubled children’s hospital has failed to open

Edinburgh's new Sick Kids hospital was due to open in 2017 but has suffered major delays.

Sick Kids: Further delays to the opening of the £150m building are expected. <strong>STV News</strong>
Sick Kids: Further delays to the opening of the £150m building are expected. STV News

It’s going to be at least another year until Edinburgh’s new children’s hospital opens, it was announced on Wednesday.

The new £150m hospital, first planned in 2005, was due to open in 2017, but has been hit by a series of troubles.

Two months ago, health secretary Jeane Freeman halted its opening just days before personnel and equipment were due to be moved from the current Sciennes building.

Eventually it will be also be home to the department of clinical neurosciences, currently at the Western General, and child and adolescent mental health services.


Here’s a timeline of delays and disruption which has held up the hospital:

  • September 2010: A nine-month delay is caused by disagreements over a land deal with Scottish Enterprise concerning a new car park.
  • November 2010: A financial roadblock as the Scottish Government insists the project will have to be funded by the Scottish Futures Trust.
  • May 2012: Health chiefs consider scrapping plans for the new building altogether after further delays because of issues over land.
  • February 2015: Construction begins.
  • August 2016: Two of the companies working on the new site enter liquidation, forcing the official opening date to be pushed from autumn 2017 to spring 2018.
  • December 2017: Further liquidation of a sub-contractor, poor weather and issues surrounding piling works cause another delay, expected to be around six months.
  • June 2018: Burst pipes leads to flooding at the new site causing significant damage.
  • November 2018: Independent assessors declare the hospital has failed to meet specifications including problems with the drainage system and a need for more fire alarms. 
  • July 2019: Health Secretary Jeane Freeman calls off the move from the Sciennes Road site to Little France five days before the official opening day due to issues with the ventilation system in the citical care unit.
  • August 2019: Freeman is unable to confirm whether parts of the £150m building will have to be torn down due to issues with drainage.
  • September 2019: It’s revealed the hospital won’t open until at least next autumn.
Paperwork blunder delays children’s hospital another year Read now

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