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Costs for Sick Kids ghost hospital continue to grow as £140k shelled out for staff each month

February 4, 2020 8:41 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today voiced concern about the mounting and "colossal costs" of the unopened Sick Kids hospital, as he revealed staff costs for the empty hospital are topping £139,000 a month.

Staff costs from March to August 2019 totalled £834,000, which covered domestics, catering and logistics. There were 137 staff whose employment covered working at the new hospital either part or full time during September 2019.

In addition to this over £10,000 has been spent on training for the elevated helideck response team. It has previously been reported that they have been deployed as car park attendants to keep them busy.

NHS Lothian has been repaying the equivalent of about £1.4 million a month since February 2019 to a private consortium for the unopened Sick Children's Hospital. In addition a previous Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information request revealed NHS Lothian spent over £62,000 advertising the Sick Kids move to the new site at Little France.

Alex Cole-Hamilton said:

"Patients and the public will be dismayed to find the colossal costs of the Sick Kids ghost hospital continue to grow.

"They've been in possession of an empty building for 11 months, at a cost of over £12 million so far. Now we discover we're shelling out £140k a month on top of that to have staff help run and cater a hospital without a single patient.

"It's unbelievable how much money has been wasted in this project because of sloppy management and systematic failings. The Scottish Government needs to ensure there is full transparency about how much money is being poured into this project, and it must continue to provide updates on the remedial work and when patients will actually be able to use the new facilities."