The final phase of refurbishment work at Medway Maritime Hospital’s emergency department could be delayed, according to health officials.
In papers for the Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s recent board meeting, chief executive Lesley Dwyer explained the building contractor had experienced difficulties in finding a skilled workforce to finish the project.
She wrote: “The current phase of the emergency department capital build is almost at completion.
“The handover to the trust is scheduled for May, with the final phase due to be completed by June 2018, but the contractors have had some difficulty with the availability of specialist skilled labourers and therefore, there may be some need for additional time to handover on these elements.”
In 2016, an £18m contract – which also included building a new children’s department, minors area and majors waiting area at the hopsital in Gillingham – was awarded to Integrated Health Projects.
Following the meeting, the trust said any delay would have no impact on providing care to patients, and said it still intends to open the new facilities next month.
James Lowell, executive director of clinical operations, added: “We have provided a full range of emergency care to our community throughout the refurbishment works over the last year to avoid causing any inconvenience to those who have needed our services.
“We are looking forward to being able to treat patients in our new, state-of-the-art facility from June this year.”