Yet more delays for hospital buildings now £100m over budget

The Baird Family Hospital and the Anchor Centre were due to open in 2020, but there have been further delays.

Yet more delays for Aberdeen Baird and Anchor hospital buildings now £100m over budget NHS

Opening dates for a new maternity hospital and cancer centre in Aberdeen have been pushed back yet again, with authorities accused of “badly letting down” patients.

Both the Baird Family Hospital – which will provide maternity and neonatal care as well as breast and gynaecology services – and the Anchor Centre were originally due to open in 2020.

After many delays and budget overspends of nearly £100m, the Anchor Centre was due to open this October and the Baird Hospital in September 2024.

NHS Grampian said the estimated cost of the development at the Foresterhill Health Campus is now at £261.1m, with a risk provision of £20.7m also available.

However, board papers ahead of a meeting on Thursday have been released by NHS Grampian, which say that it is now not in a position to give firm opening dates.

The papers outlined a design review conducted of the two buildings, and stated that no firm opening dates can be confirmed until the review and any changes are identified are agreed upon.

It added: “The project team are committed to ensuring that the design review process concludes as soon as possible, future proofing both buildings to ensure they are fit of purpose at point of opening and providing contemporary healthcare services for many years to come.”

Previous delays had been attributed in part to the ventilation system at the new buildings.

The papers also state that elements of the building designs are currently being revisited, and keeping them up to date may require “significant further investment”.

These elements include the water and ventilation systems.

The papers will be discussed at a board meeting on Thursday, August 3.

Shadow public health minister and Scottish Conservative north-east MSP Tess White, who will be attending the board meeting on Thursday, said: “It’s deeply concerning the opening dates have been pulled for both the Baird and Anchor hospitals due to design issues with the buildings.

“This announcement is yet another blow to patients who have been badly let down by these repeated delays and deserve to know when these much-needed facilities will open.

“The Scottish Government needs to support NHS Grampian while the reasons and solutions behind this disruption are in their sights.

“Years late and almost £100m over budget, this vital development can’t be allowed to falter further – the health secretary needs to step forward and take ownership.

“NHS Grampian is demonstrably struggling with finances and waiting times accordingly as it is. But any time we’ve raised this and construction issues with the Baird and Anchor with the SNP at Holyrood they’ve washed their hands of it.

“As a matter of public interest, answers must be given at the board meeting on Thursday on how this situation will be rectified to ensure we receive new opening dates as soon as possible.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We remain fully committed to the delivery of this project and we are working closely with NHS Grampian and NHS Scotland Assure to ensure that the new facilities reflect the most up to date learning on infection, prevention and control and these changes are being applied to the project.

“The impact of these changes on the timeline are still being worked through and NHS Grampian will provide an update on completion dates when that process is complete.”

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