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Why is NHS Grampian spending £2m on doors?

An artist's impression of the Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre in Foresterhill.

NHS Grampian bosses have been urged to approve a nearly £2 million spend on doors as work on Aberdeen’s new maternity hospital moves forward.

Construction has been ongoing at the Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre at Foresterhill, which are both due to open in 2023.

The NHS Grampian board will meet this morning, and is recommended to approve a £1.95m contract for doors for the facilities.

A short report, which will also be reviewed by members, explains why this situation has arisen.

What are the doors for, and how does it affect the budget?

The Baird will act as a replacement for the city’s 84-year-old maternity hospital, which will later be demolished, and also include breast and gynaecology services.

And the Anchor Centre will be directly connected to the existing radiology department, offering oncology and haematology appointments.

The construction contract was initially approved in October 2020, but some parts were not yet fully completed.

The construction site of The Baird Family Hospital, Foresterhill Health Campus, Aberdeen.

This morning’s report, tabled by the deputy project director, said this included work to “finalise the door requirements”.

As these have now been confirmed – and are higher from the provisional costs tallied up in 2018 – the spend now requires approval by the board.

But the report has reassured that the new contract will not result in any change to the project’s overall £233m budget.

Design re-worked after Edinburgh blunder

The buildings have been in the works since 2014, and comprise the largest sum NHS Grampian has ever spent on a facility.

Since the launch of the project however, issues such as Covid and Brexit have delayed progress and caused costs to rise by almost £60m.

Right at the start, a change in accounting regulations meant months of work had to be thrown out and restarted.

An artist’s impression of the Baird Family Hospital

And in 2019, the opening of a £150m children’s hospital in Edinburgh was postponed after serious issues were raised regarding its ventilation system.

It later emerged it was due to an error in the tendering process.

But, because of the mistake, a new design assurance process was drawn up to prevent similar issues from occurring in any other new-build hospitals – including those in Aberdeen – setting the clock back another six months.

Buildings designed for ‘privacy and flexibility’

The Anchor Centre is being built on the grounds of the former Eye Clinic at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, with its services moved to the main hospital building.

It will be three storeys high and include all haematology, oncology and radiotherapy day and outpatient services under one roof.

This facility will replace Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, which has been around since the 1930s.

Meanwhile the Baird Family Hospital is being built on the grounds of the former breast screening centre and the old Foresterhill Health Centre.

Artist’s impression of the new Baird Family Hospital and Anchor Centre.

It will encompass five floors, including a car park, and is named after the Baird family, who made large contributions to medicine in Aberdeen.

All of the bedrooms in both facilities have been designed for just one patient at a time – allowing them privacy and flexibility.

Construction is expected to be completed in February next year, after beginning in May 2021.

It is set for a May opening.

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