Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, has blamed the government’s failure to tackle ‘Carillion’s toxic legacy’ for further delays to the construction of the new Liverpool Royal Hospital.

Responding to the announcement by Liverpool Hospitals NHS Trust that the new Liverpool Royal will cost an extra £300 million and will not be completed until 2022, Unite called for corporate governance reforms to prevent the ‘bandit capitalism’ that led to Carillion’s collapse.

Unite said patients and staff who have been ‘left stranded in a substandard hospital’ that they were supposed to vacate for the new Liverpool Royal in 2017, as well as construction workers who lost their earnings and jobs when Carillion imploded in 2018, have been ‘completely let down’ by the government. 

Unite regional officer Derek Jones said: “The public and the Royal’s workforce have been completely let down by the government’s abject failure to get to grips with the Carillion disaster and its aftermath.

“The government appointed Carillion to build the hospital, neglected to monitor the project’s progress and failed to ensure there was no delay in getting it built once the firm went under. Because of this, staff and patients will now have to spend three more winters in a building that is not fit for purpose. 

“The Royal is completely unsuited to meeting the needs of patients, who only continue to receive excellent care because the hospital’s exemplary staff manage to find ways to work around the crumbling infrastructure.”

Unite regional secretary Ritchie James said: “These further delays expose the price that the public and industry have had to pay for the government’s complicity in enabling Carillion’s greedy, irresponsible and destructive business practices.

“Carillion’s collapse led to huge financial losses for construction subcontractors and their workers, while Liverpool Royal patients and staff have been left stranded in a sub-standard hospital.

“It is clear from the mounting costs and added delays to the new Royal, that Carillion’s toxic legacy will continue well into the future, even as those who are responsible still have not faced justice.

“The government cannot carry on ignoring this issue. Ministers must take action to reform company law to stop similar collapses in the future and create effective regulators to prevent firm’s creating chaos through bandit capitalism.”


Notes to editors: 

Unite has produced the ‘Ending bandit capitalism: learning the lessons following Carillion’s collapse’ blueprint to end vulture capitalists ruining public services and destroying livelihoods and to stop “too big to fail” outsourcing firms like Carillion imploding: https://unitetheunion.org/media/2132/ending-bandit-capitalism.pdf

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215. Email: ryan.fletcher@unitetheunion.org

Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org 

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