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Staffing costs £139,000 a month at unopened Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital

New sick kids hospital in Edinburgh - Image credit: M J Richardson

Staffing costs £139,000 a month at unopened Edinburgh Sick Kids Hospital

Almost £140,000 a month has been paid out for staffing at the new Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh, despite the hospital not being open.

Staffing costs for the hospital, which was due to open in July 2019, totalled £834,000, or £139,000 a month, in the six months from March to August 2019, according to a freedom of information request submitted by the Scottish Lib Dems.

There were 137 staff still employed to work at the hospital in September 2019 in cleaning, catering and logistics, although they had been redeployed to other hospitals including the Royal Infirmary and the existing Sick Children’s building.

In addition, more than £10,000 was spent on staff training for the helideck response team.

This is in addition to the £1.4m a month that NHS Lothian has been paying to the private consortium that built the hospital since the health board took over the site in February 2019.

It is not known currently when health services will move into the new hospital, after its opening was delayed due to concerns about the ventilation system.

Lib Dem health spokesperson 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.”

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