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Midland Metropolitan Hospital is a new acute general hospital being built on a 16 acres (6.5 hectares) site in Grove Lane at Smethwick near Birmingham. The hospital was designed by a team led by HKS and including Edward Williams Architects and Sonnemann Toon Architects. Already behind its original target completion date of October 2018, it was being built by Carillion. However, the company went into liquidation in January 2018, causing the PFI contract to be terminated and delaying the hospital's completion until at least late 2021.

Midland Metropolitan Hospital
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust
From the Secret Garden - Midland Metropolitan Hospital.jpg
Midland Metropolitan Hospital
Midland Metropolitan Hospital is located in West Midlands county
Midland Metropolitan Hospital
Location within West Midlands
LocationSmethwick, West Midlands, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates52°29′27″N 1°56′57″W / 52.49093°N 1.94924°W / 52.49093; -1.94924Coordinates: 52°29′27″N 1°56′57″W / 52.49093°N 1.94924°W / 52.49093; -1.94924
Care systemPublic NHS
Hospital typeDistrict General
Affiliated university
Emergency departmentYes Accident & Emergency
Founded2019 (2019)
ListsHospitals in England



Project inceptionEdit

The Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust was granted a compulsory purchase order to buy the land at Grove Lane, which had previously been used for industrial purposes by GKN, in January 2011.[1][2] The hospital was designed by a team led by HKS.[3] Edward Williams Architects is the architectural design lead and Sonnemann Toon Architects the architectural clinic lead.[4][5]

The new hospital will have 670 beds and 15 operating theatre suites.[6] The total capital cost was forecast to be £297 million[7] of which £100 million would be provided by HM Treasury with the remainder privately financed.[8] Work on site started in January 2016 and construction was due to be completed in October 2018, but the project became delayed, with completion initially rescheduled for 2019.[9]

Carillion liquidation and related delaysEdit

Until January 2018, it was being built by Carillion who were also to provide hard facilities management and life-cycle maintenance services.[7] On 15 January 2018, Carillion went into liquidation, partly due to its problems with the hospital contract, and delaying the project still further;[10][11] 70 Carillion staff lost their jobs.[12] On 26 March 2018, it was reported that the project had been costing over £17m more than Carillion had officially reported.[13]

In March 2018, Skanska negotiated to take over the hospital's construction,[14] with the project 18 months late and likely to cost an additional £125 million.[15] In May 2018, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust had yet to confirm Skanska to complete the project, and with the unfinished site deteriorating, completion was likely to be pushed back an additional two years, to 2022.[16] In June 2018, a consortium of banks financing the project withdrew their support, and HM Treasury cancelled the PFI contract for construction of the hospital, leaving it with a lengthy search for new investment and pushing the completion date back to at least 2022.[17][18]

In the meantime, the NHS trust started tendering for a interim contractor to deliver a £13m programme of works to protect the site until a replacement construction contractor is appointed;[19] the OJEU notice for the £13m early works contract was published on 9 August 2018;[20] in October 2018, this work was awarded to Balfour Beatty.[21]

In August 2018, market testing with contractors showed there was little appetite to bid under a private finance model, and that a PF2 bid would be over £100m more expensive and take six months longer. As a result, the NHS trust sought direct government funding to complete the project,[22] and on 16 August 2018, the government announced it would provide funding to complete the hospital.[23] In November 2018, it was reported that the NHS Trust was struggling to find a contractor to complete the hospital, with the possibility that the hospital might be delayed beyond 2022.[24] In January 2019, firms - some previously involved with the project - were formally invited to apply for shortlisting to complete the half-finished hospital; the successful bidder was expected to start in October 2019 and complete the project in late 2021.[25] A wrangle over proposed changes to local authority boundaries threatened to delay the contractor appointment,[26] with Balfour Beatty reportedly the sole bidder for the project.[27]


  1. ^ "NHS granted permission to buy up land to build Midland Metropolitan Hospital". The Guardian. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  2. ^ "NHS granted permission to buy up land to build Midland Metropolitan Hospital". Birmingham Post. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  3. ^ "HKS to head Midlands super-hospital architect team". 9 October 2015. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Architects 'may struggle to get payment from Carillion'". Architects Journal. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  5. ^ "HKS to head Midlands super-hospital architect team". Building Design. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Midland Metropolitan Hospital takes shape ahead of 2018 opening". Express & Star. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Carillion choice for Smethwick hospital". Express and Star. 12 August 2015. Retrieved 24 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Smethwick super hospital on way at last as Chancellor George Osborne agrees to £353m scheme". Express and Star. 15 July 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  9. ^ "Midland Metropolitan Hospital opening delayed by six-month engineering setback". Express and Star. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  10. ^ Matthews-King, Alex (16 January 2018). "Alarm in hospitals as NHS triggers emergency plans in 14 trusts after Carillion collapse". Independent. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  11. ^ Davies, Rob; Clark, Tim; Campbell, Denis (19 January 2018). "Carillion collapse further delays building at two major hospitals". Guardian. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  12. ^ Penfold, Simon (9 April 2018). "Carillion: More jobs go but 10,000 have now been saved". Express & Star. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  13. ^ Price, David (26 March 2018). "Carillion understated hospital costs by £70m". Construction News. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  14. ^ Morby, Aaron (12 March 2018). "Contractors lined-up for Carillion problem PFI hospitals". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  15. ^ Morby, Aaron (20 April 2018). "Carillion's Midlands Pf2 hospital to cost extra £125m". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  16. ^ Morby, Aaron (2 May 2018). "Midlands hospital opening pushed back two years". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  17. ^ Plimmer, Gill (10 June 2018). "Treasury scrambles for investors for Carillion hospital project". Financial Times. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  18. ^ Penfold, Simon (27 June 2018). "Government may take over work on Midland Met Hospital if new PFI attempt fails". Express & Star. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  19. ^ Morby, Aaron (3 July 2018). "Plan to restart stalled Midlands hospital with new PF2 deal". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  20. ^ Prior, Grant (9 August 2018). "Contract race starts to patch-up Carillion hospital". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  21. ^ Morby, Aaron (4 October 2018). "Balfour bags stalled Midland Met hospital patch-up". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 5 October 2018.
  22. ^ Morby, Aaron (3 August 2018). "Trust cans PF2 plan for Carillion-hit hospital restart". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  23. ^ Marshall, Jordan (16 August 2018). "Government confirms bailout for stalled Carillion hospital job". Building. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  24. ^ "NHS trust struggling to find replacement to build post-Carillion Birmingham hospital". National Health Executive. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  25. ^ Morby, Aaron (9 January 2019). "Trust to split cost savings on Midland Met hospital job". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  26. ^ Ing, Will (8 April 2019). "Work to restart Midland Met hospital already at risk of falling behind, boss admits". Building. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  27. ^ Morby, Aaron (30 April 2019). "Balfour Beatty set for Midland Met finishing deal". Construction Enquirer. Retrieved 30 April 2019.