Inflation could mean £3m increase to cost of Scarborough Hospital’s new emergency care centre

Scarborough Hospital’s new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre could cost £3m more than envisaged due to rising inflation and construction costs.
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On Wednesday, February 22, the York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s board was given an update on the progress of the £47m scheme.

Construction began last April and the new centre is planned to open in spring next year.

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The largest capital scheme ever undertaken by the Trust could now see an increase in costs of up to £3m due to high inflation and rising costs in the construction industry.

Scarborough Hospital's new Urgent and Emergency Care CentreScarborough Hospital's new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre
Scarborough Hospital's new Urgent and Emergency Care Centre

Andrew Bertram, the Trust’s finance director, said: “We and lots of others who are dealing with these in other trusts have asked for support and there is no movement at all from the centre.

“I am going to be suggesting that we increase the value of that scheme by £3m.”

He added: “That has a consequence on our capital programme because it means we have £3m less to spend on really critical backlog maintenance which we are incredibly worried about as a board.”

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Mr Bertram added that a recommendation to increase the scheme’s funding would be made next month.

A spokesperson for the Trust told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “The potential budget increase for the emergency and critical care unit is primarily to do with rising costs in the construction industry due to high inflation, over which we have no control.

“The Trust is in active conversations with its construction partner about how this can be mitigated.

“We are considering a number of options, including the potential to supplement the scheme budget further from the Trust’s capital programme if this proves necessary.”

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Speaking at the meeting on Wednesday, Simon Moritt, chief executive of the Trust, said that rising inflation posed a “serious issue” in terms of staying within allocated budgets.

He added: “But obviously, that should not be at the cost of access or indeed key clinical areas that are fundamental to the delivery of a critical care centre.”

According to the NHS, attendances at Scarborough emergency department have increased at a rate of around five per cent year-on-year for more than a decade and “the new build will provide much needed extra space”.