Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson and Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has today revealed that NHS Lothian has made more than £28m of repayments for the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh, despite the facility facing a series of delays to its opening and full operation.
The opening of the new Sick Kids' was cancelled just days before patients were set to arrive in July 2019. The Health Secretary announced last autumn that the move would be put back again, with final building works to be completed by 25 January 2021.
A freedom of information request submitted by the party revealed that between February 2018 and November 2020, a total of £28,125,704.09 was spent in annual service payments for the hospital, covering debt and interest repayments, lifecycle and facilities management and SPV costs.
Commenting on the figures, Mr Cole-Hamilton said:
“Patients, parents and staff are exasperated that the opening of the new Sick Kids hospital has been subject to delay after delay.
“These figures show that a private consortium has now been paid £28 million for a hospital that NHS Lothian has been unable to have firing on all cylinders. We've missed out on its 233-bed capacity when warnings about health care capacity have been at their most acute.
“There is a vast amount for the public inquiry to get to the bottom of, including how this project has been overseen by SNP ministers. More immediately we need confirmation that patients, staff and services will soon and finally be able to get the full benefit of what should be a world-class facility, and for bosses to set out how the full transfer of services will happen with the current pressures on the health service."