Edinburgh's new Sick Kids hospital: the story so far

THE replacement for Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital was originally expected to open in winter 2012 but has suffered delay after delay.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 10:02 am
Questions have been asked why the problem was discovered so late in the day.

Problems included a protracted land swap deal, partner firms running into financial difficulties, poor weather and a serious flood after a hot water pipe burst overnight.The latest delay came on July 4 when Health Secretary Jeane Freeman stepped in - hours before patients were due to start moving from the current Sick Kids in Sciennes.Ms Freeman had been told by NHS Lothian that the ventilation in the new critical care unit did not meet national standards.She also ordered checks on other parts of the building, especially its ventilation, water supply and drainage systems, as well as review of the project’s governance.NHS Lothian had been running an extensive advertising campaign - now revealed to have cost £62,000 - in a bid to make sure families with ill children knew they should go to the new site at Little France. But now they had to reverse the message and tell over 4000 patients to go to the old building after all.Staff who had been expecting to move to the new hospital were said to be frustrated at the delay.Questions were asked about why the problem had only been discovered at the last minute.And people who had worked on the project contacted the Evening News to tell how they had raised concerns before.An architect involved in the project told the paper problems were “built into” the new hospital because of political pressure to avoid further delays.Another source close to the project revealed that in addition to the well-reported hot water burst, the basement had been flooded twice due to drainage problems.And an agency worker who worked on fitting fire detectors to the ventilation system voiced safety fears over alleged lack of checks on the work.

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Edinburgh's Sick Kids hospital won't open for another year