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Sat March 28 2020

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Glasgow NHS claims £73m damages over hospital projects

27 Feb Multiplex, Capita Property & Infrastructure Ltd and Currie & Brown UK Limited have been served with a summons for losses and damages incurred due to a number of technical issues within two Scottish hospitals.

The summons was issued by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) in relation to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children. It was puiblished yesterday.

It sets out areas where NHSGGC says that its requirements were not met in either the design, commissioning or building stages in 11 specific areas.

The current estimation of damages and losses is approximately £73m, which includes the costs incurred to date and an estimate of future anticipated costs.

The legal action is being taken following a review commissioned by NHSGGC to consider how these technical issues arose and any further actions required.

Specific issues have also been the subject of a further external review. An independent review by Health Protection Scotland (HPS) into the water supply confirmed contamination of the water system in 2018. 

The independent review by HPS, which was commissioned by NHSGGC, was established to investigate a number of probable linked cases of infection associated with the water supply. HPS agreed with the measures proposed by NHSGGC to address the water system issues and these actions have been taken.

NHSGGC chief executive Jane Grant said: “Whilst we are now taking legal action on a number of design and installation issues, it is important to stress that the hospitals continue to provide safe and effective care. A significant amount of work has already taken place including the remedial action on the water supply and the ventilation.”

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In total, the summons covers 11 technical issues. One of them relates to water and three are to do with the ventilation. Further design investigation is required for an issue related to plant and building service capacity. Action has been taken to address an issue related to toughened glazing – a protective canopy is being installed, and is currently under construction, to mitigate the risk of the impact of fractured glass.

Another issue relates to doors. NHSGGC said that the door frames are not as required in the contract and replacement and repairs are having to be carried out more often than expected.  However, it stressed that fire safety has not been compromised as this does not affect the integrity or functionality of the doors.

Another area relates to the heating system – NHSGGC said that the energy plant does not achieve the required efficiency.

Action has also been taken over a problem with the atrium roof. The section of the roof that was damaged has since been replaced.

A programme of repair or replacement is under way to address internal fabric moisture ingress, relating to the design and materials used in the construction of the en-suite bathrooms. 

The final issue relates to the pneumatic transport system. Action has been taken and the hospitals continue to operate with alternative transportation and porter arrangements as a backup.

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