‘We won’t pay for hospital repair job’

Scaffolding at Whiston Hospital's Accident and Emergency department

Scaffolding at Whiston Hospital's Accident and Emergency department

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NHS bosses insist repairs to faulty building work at the new Whiston Hospital will not cost the taxpayer a single penny.

Builders have spent the past few weeks at the Warrington Road hospital after a problem with cladding work was uncovered during a routine inspection.

But health bosses insist the work will not cost the cash-strapped NHS trust and will instead be met by building contractors.

Ann Marr, chief executive of St Helens and KNowsley NHS Trust, which runs Whiston Hospital, said: “As part of the contract with the constructors of our two new hospitals, the buildings are subject to regular routine inspections and maintenance.

“This is to ensure that the buildings are maintained to the highest possible standard.

“Following an assessment of Whiston Hospital, it was considered that remedial work was required to some of the cladding which is fixed to the external walls of the building.

“There are no structural problems with the hospital building itself.”

Both Whiston and St Helens hospitals were rebuilt using private finance initiative cash and transformed into world class heathcare facilities.

But the rebuilding projecthas left the local NHS trust with huge debt burden which has imperilled its financial health.

Mrs Marr added: “The work will be completed once all cladding has been inspected, with the cost of any repairs being met by the building contractor.”

g Read the hospital’s full statement on page 8.