03/08/2016 - 15:25

Setback for new hospital opening date

03/08/2016 - 15:25

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Formal opening of the new Perth Children’s Hospital has been delayed following the discovery of asbestos in the roof of the facility, with no updated completion time disclosed.

Setback for new hospital opening date
The opening day for the new Perth Children's Hospital has been delayed.

Formal opening of the new Perth Children’s Hospital has been delayed following the discovery of asbestos in the roof of the facility, with no updated completion time disclosed.

Health Minister John Day said he was disappointed and frustrated that formal handover of the new hospital to the state would not be achieved by tomorrow, head contractor John Holland’s most recent finish date target.

The delay will also flow on to the planned final moving day, which was pencilled in for November 20.

“All efforts are being made to open PCH safely this year, but the revised opening dates will depend on when the building can be handed over to WA Health,” Mr Day said.

“We will not alter the integrity of the commissioning program – this is an absolute imperative to ensure that there is no compromise to the safety of patients, staff and visitors when operations commence.

“The recent identification of asbestos in roof panelling at the PCH site has further complicated completion of the building.

“It has taken time for John Holland to detail options for removing asbestos from the roof but this is being progressed as quickly as possible, once again with safety the top priority.”

He said while the planned opening dates would not be met, practical completion would be achieved as soon as possible.

“Physical building works are essentially complete and the majority of the facility has been handed over for Department of Health transition activities, with commissioning of building systems continuing,” Mr Day said.

“Since July 4, up to 500 health staff and IT contractors have been on site, working on commissioning and training activities.

“Hundreds more Princess Margaret Hospital and PCH commissioning staff are preparing for the big move, and on behalf of the government and all Western Australian families, we appreciate their hard work, dedication and patience at this time.”

He said the situation was extraordinarily disappointing and highly unusual, but a considered approach was being taken to ensure it would not affect the quality of care to be offered at the hospital.

“The most important thing for us is to deliver a safe hospital for patients and staff – and to open when it is appropriate to do so,” Mr Day said.

“We continue to receive regular briefings on the final construction activities and commissioning progress and expect to be able to update the opening program once all of the necessary information is received from John Holland and validated.”

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