Government must get Royal built

It is long past the time when the government should have stepped in to secure the opening of the new Royal following the collapse of construction company Carillion earlier this year.royal new

It is totally unacceptable that a desperately needed hospital that should already be open is now going to be further delayed.

Work stopped on the £335 million hospital in February this year when Carillion went bust. Since then it has emerged that even the existing work was not up to standard.

A new contractor will have to deal with cracked support beams and now there is a possibility that existing cladding will have to be stripped off and replaced because it is a fire hazard.

The existing Royal is under a lot of pressure and additional costs will be incurred as essential building works are carried out to ensure that it can still operate safely while the new hospital is completed.

Clearly, all these problems will add considerably to the cost, and the government needs to urgently step in to support the hard work of the local NHS in pressing for work to re-start.

I met the Health Minister Steve Barclay this week, as did my colleague Louise Ellman, in whose constituency the new Royal is being built.

She, I and other local Labour Members of Parliament have repeatedly raised our concerns with ministers and I know that we will continue to do so until they listen and act.