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  1. ITV Report

New hospital opening could be delayed until at least 2022

There are concerns that parts of the delayed Midland Metropolitan hospital in Sandwell may have to be rebuilt if construction doesn't resume soon.

Work on the £350 million pound hospital was halted when construction firm Carillion collapsed in January.

The boss of the NHS Trust that runs the hospital says bad weather is damaging parts of the building.

As it stands, only two-thirds of the building has been built and with these further problems, it could add an extra £10 million pounds worth of work onto the project.

Toby Lewis, Chief Executive of Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust has said:

The building isn't entirely weather-proof. We had a proposition to get things moving again in May. I'm hopeful we'll be able to move things forward instead over the summer.

But there is definitely a cost, we're going to have to re-do the dry lining, and we're going to have to do some more work on the pipes, and that is frustrating.

– Toby Lewis, Chief Executive of Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust
Work on the £350 million pound hospital was halted when construction firm Carillion collapsed in January. Credit: ITV News Central

When asked whether the trust was finding it difficult to find a company to complete the work, Mr Lewis said:

It's certainly the case there are organisations that say they are interested. It's certainly the case there are organisations that say they're not.

Remember when we originally went to the market, we had a fairly limited response.

Building a new hospital is a big and complicated task, and there's only a few firms that can do it. But I'm optimistic that we'll find somebody who wants to work with us.

– Toby Lewis, Chief Executive of Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust

In a statement, The Department for Health says:

It remains absolutely committed to getting the new hospital built as quickly as possible whilst also ensuring taxpayers' money is spent appropriately.

– The Department for Health

It's reported that the hospital is not expected to open now until at least 2022.