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Corroded pipes at critical care building

Construction at the Critical Care Building in Belfast.

The opening of a new critical care building at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital has been delayed because of corroded pipe work.

Wednesday, 05 December 2012
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The multi-million pound facility, which will provide emergency and trauma services for those who have been severely injured, was due to be handed over to the Belfast Trust at the end of the year.

But the opening has been set back months because of the damaged pipes, some of which will have to be taken out and replaced.

A Belfast Trust spokesperson said: "We were disappointed to learn from our contractor that a problem has been discovered with some corrosion in aspects of the pipe work in the new critical care building, which will delay the handover to the trust."

The Trust said the building must be fit for purpose before it is handed over.

"It is the contractor's responsibility to ensure that the completed building meets all the established regional quality criteria and the contractor is currently in the early stages of rectifying these defects.

"Any costs associated with this work will be met by the contractor as the building has not been officially handed over," said a spokesperson.

The building, which will also house a maternity unit, has cost £152 million and SDLP Health Committee member Conall McDevitt said he is disappointed by the delay.

"I think people will acknowledge that if a problem is found it should be fixed and that will lead to a delay but undoubtedly I'm disappointed, and I suspect the people of Belfast will be disappointed.

"I'm sure people in the project team who have been trying to get this project finished will be disappointed too.

"I would want to be assured that there are now thorough audits going on to ensure that there are no other potential engineering glitches in the system and that we have the minimum amount of delays possible," he added.