Aberdeen hospital project on-hold as costs soar by £60m
The opening of a new maternity hospital and cancer centre in Aberdeen has been delayed with costs estimated to have increased by £60 million.
Originally planned to cost around £160m, NHS Grampian said the estimated cost of the Baird Family Hospital and ANCHOR cancer centre development is now £223.6m.
Work by GRAHAM Construction Ltd began on-site at the Foresterhill Health Campus in December 2018. Construction has been delayed while costs were assessed.
The facilities were originally due to start welcoming patients next year but the ANCHOR Centre is now expected to open in 2022 and the Baird in 2023.
Board papers attributed the increase to factors including market conditions and inflation across the construction sector, and said earlier budget planning “did not sufficiently reflect the complexity of the project”.
The health board said another factor in the setback was a design review launched after construction issues led to safety concerns at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow and the new children’s hospital in Edinburgh.
The NHS Grampian board approved the plans on Thursday and Scottish Government approval is now needed before construction can begin.
Professor Mike Greaves, clinical lead for ANCHOR, said: “This is a tremendous milestone and I am very proud of what has been achieved.
“The ANCHOR Centre will provide much needed state-of-the-art facilities for patients with cancer and disorders of the blood and bone marrow.
“In addition, the centre will house facilities for clinical research aimed at the development of improved treatment regimens, and dedicated conference and teaching areas to assist in ensuring the maintenance of the highest standards of expertise of our staff.”
Dr Mike Munro, consultant neonatologist, clinical lead for The Baird Family Hospital, said: “I am delighted that this stage of the project has been reached.
“The new Baird Family Hospital will provide maternity, gynaecology, breast screening and breast symptomatic services.
“It represents the culmination of five years of work with the clinical services that will occupy the Baird and is another step closer to its opening.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it has been working closely with the board and the cost increase is due to “a range of factors”.
She said: “It is entirely appropriate that the project was paused while an independent review of costs was undertaken.
“That review is now complete and, subject to the full business case being approved by the NHS Capital Investment Group, we would expect construction to start shortly.”