Health chiefs issue details of £73m Multiplex hospital claim

Grant Prior 3 years ago

Health chiefs in Scotland have published full details of their £73m legal claim against Multiplex over alleged building faults at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University campus.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has served a summons on Multiplex, Capita Property and Infrastructure Ltd and Currie and Brown UK Limited for losses and damages incurred due to a number of technical issues on the scheme.

Problems have plagued the £842m super hospital since its opening in 2015.

Two wards for children had to be closed over concerns about contaminated water supplies.

Jane Grant, Chief Executive, said: “Whilst we are now taking legal action on a number of design and installation issues, it is important to stress that the hospitals continue to provide safe and effective care.

“A significant amount of work has already taken place including the remedial action on the water supply and the ventilation.”

The legal action covers 11 technical issues which have been detailed by the trust including remedial action already taken:

Issue 1 Water System – Action Taken

When issues with the water system were identified in Wards 2A and 2B at the RHC in March 2018, steps were taken to investigate and put in place improvements and control measures including fitting point of use filters on water outlets.

When bacteria were subsequently identified in the drains of these wards in June 2018, drain cleaning was initiated in high risk areas.

In mid-September, we made the decision to transfer the patients to Ward 6A of the neighbouring QEUH.  This allowed our technical staff to carry out more detailed examinations of the overall environment of the two wards.

We subsequently installed a continuous Chlorine Dioxide dosing plant in RHC (December 2018) and QEUH (March 2019) and installed further point of use filters in all clinical areas where the haemato-oncology patients are likely to attend.  These solutions were endorsed by Health Protection Scotland and Health Facilities Scotland.

We continue to monitor water hygiene closely.  The water is ‘potable’ meaning it conforms to drinking water standards.


Issue 2, 3 and 4 Ventilation – Action Taken

Work was carried out on the adult BMT unit in 2017 to improve the air quality and provide HEPA filtration to all patient bedrooms and ancillary areas.  We continue to monitor the air quality in this unit.

Seven negative pressure rooms have been upgraded and this was complete by May 2019.

The ventilation system in Ward 2A and 2B of the RHC is currently being upgraded to provide optimal, state of the art facilities for all our young haemato-oncology patients. This work will conclude in summer 2020.


Issue 5: Plant and building service capacity

Further design investigation required.


Issue 6 Toughened glazing – Action Taken

A protective canopy is being installed, and is currently under construction, to mitigate the risk of the impact of fractured glass.


Issue 7 Doors – Action Taken

The door frames are not as required in the contract and replacement and repairs are having to be carried out more often than expected.  However, it must be stressed that fire safety has not been compromised as this does not affect the integrity or functionality of the doors.


Issue 8: Heating system

The energy plant continues not to achieve the required efficiency.


Issue 9 Atrium roof – Action Taken

The section of the roof that was damaged has since been replaced.


Issue 10: Internal fabric moisture ingress – Action Taken

Previous media reports have covered the issues relating to the design and materials used in the construction of the en-suite bathrooms.  A programme of repair or replacement is underway.


Issue 11: Pneumatic transport system – Action Taken

The hospitals continue to operate with alternative transportation and portering arrangements as a backup.

A Multiplex spokesman said: “Multiplex is extremely disappointed that some five years after the completion of the Queen Elizabeth, which was delivered on time, on budget and fully certified, the health board has now decided to issue legal proceedings.

“We are reviewing the terms of the claim and will provide a response in due course.

“Multiplex is treating the matters raised with utmost seriousness and will continue to work with the health board.”

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