Scottish government halts healthcare construction projects for two years

  • 17th January 2024

Budget cuts are believed to be behind the decision to halt work on new hospital developments in Scotland

The Scottish Government has ruled out new hospital construction projects until 2026 at the earliest, it has been reported.

NHS Lothian finance director, Craig Marriott, said ministers north of the border had told local health chiefs they would be waiting ‘at least’ two years for any estates improvement works, potentially putting jobs at risk and severely disrupting the supply chain.

Daily Business reports that letters have been sent to project managers, building firms, and architects outlining the clampdown, which will also affect NHS activities and staff.

The decision follows cutbacks announced in last month’s Scottish Budget.

Sources say a number of firms and recruitment agencies have been forced to withdraw job offers made to candidates linked to a number of developments which will now not go ahead.

Daily Business contacted one health board, NHS Lothian, whose director of finance, Craig Marriott, issued a statement saying: “New construction projects are dependent on approval and funding from the Scottish Government.

“Following the Budget announcement in December, the Scottish Government advised NHS boards to immediately stop any project development spend as the Scottish Government does not anticipate starting construction of any new capital projects over the next two years at least.

“Staff and partners are being made aware of the current picture and will be kept updated.”

But sources say that some big developments, including some that are well advanced, will go ahead, such as the new Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman issued a brief statement on the health board letters, saying: “This is not for the Scottish Government to comment.”

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