Unite, the UK’s largest union, is calling on the government to ‘stop dithering’ as financing problems are set to further delay the completion of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick, which has been stalled following the collapse of the original main contractor Carillion in January.

The project will be delayed until at least 2022, while the cost of completing the project is rising as the building deteriorates while it is mothballed. It is expected that the hospital will cost at least a further £150 million to complete.

No contractor

The trust has so far been unable to appoint a new major contractor to complete the project and the original financial backers who were funding the project via a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) have abandoned the project.

The Trust had initially stated that it would seek to complete the project under a PFI2 scheme but with construction companies uninterested in working under this model the trust has changed tack and is now asking the government to directly fund the completion of the hospital.

Unite’s acting West Midlands regional secretary Howard Beckett said: “The government has promised the hospital will be finished and now it needs to stop dithering and cough up the money to finish the project.

Dogmatic ideology

“Any alternative scenario is purely about dogmatic ideology rather than doing what is best for patients and workers in the West Midlands.

“The West Midlands economy needs the project to be restarted as soon as humanely possible to begin rebuilding the damage caused by Carillion’s demise.

“It also must never be forgotten that patients and local residents desperately need a new hospital to ensure they receive the healthcare they deserve, these ongoing delays are denying them that basic right.”

Unite represents workers in both the construction and health sectors who are directly affected by the ongoing delays to the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

West Midlands Hospital delay a kick in the teeth

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey