Leak threatens to delay centre's opening

A WATER leak at the multi-million pound soon-to-open emergency centre at Ipswich Hospital has jeopardised the building's opening.Workers at the Garrett Anderson Centre, which will home accident and emergency, critical care, day surgery and operating theatres, reported an engineering problem this week.

A WATER leak at the multi-million pound soon-to-open emergency centre at Ipswich Hospital will not jeopardise the building's opening, builders claimed today.

Workers at the Garrett Anderson Centre, which will home accident and emergency, critical care, day surgery and operating theatres, reported a plumbing engineering problem this week.

Experts were today assessing the problem and were tomorrow officially due to decide whether the four-storey centre, which was due to take its first patients in January, can open on time.

Hospital spokeswoman Jan Rowsell said: “There has been an engineering problem resulting in a leak and it is being assessed.

“We will have a clearer picture on the impact, if any, it will have on the building's opening tomorrow.

“Patient safety is our number one priority so we must make sure everything is checked and double checked.”

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The £26million building is being constructed by Kier Group and is funded by Prospect Healthcare under a private finance initiative, where the company finances, designs, builds and maintains the facilities under a 30-year concession.

The building belongs to Prospect Healthcare, not the hospital, but the hospital has been involved in recruiting independent assessors to find the exact damage caused by the overnight leak.

Kier spokesman Anthony Hewson said: “Damage is minimal and we are working with the client to resolve the problem.

“We are confident that the opening date will not be affected.”

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