Updated: Carillion services at North Bristol NHS Trust

Monday, 15 January 2018

We, like many NHS trusts across the country, have some of our facilities services provided by an external company called Carillion Services Ltd. They are currently in the national media because of the financial difficulties they are going through.

We want to reassure our patients and staff that our services remain open as normal and that we have planned extensively for this situation and will be working hard to minimise any disruption.

Patients should continue to turn up for appointments as planned.

Carillion FAQs
What happened to Carillion?

Carillion plc entered into insolvency (compulsory liquidation) on 15 January 2018. The Official Receiver (the Receiver) has been appointed by the Court as liquidator of Carillion plc and is now responsible for the day-to-day control and management of the process. Partners at PwC have been appointed as Special Managers to support this process.

What is compulsory liquidation/insolvency?
Compulsory liquidation arises when individuals or businesses have insufficient assets to cover their debts, or are unable to pay their debts when they are supposed to. The Court is petitioned to make a ‘winding up order’.

What services does Carillion provide to NBT?
Carillion Services Ltd provides hard facilities management (‘Hard FM’) services to the Brunel building, the multi-storey car parks and grounds around the hospital.  This service includes estate management, energy management, pest control as well as grounds and garden maintenance.  You will also come across them if you phone the Helpdesk to raise a ‘Hard FM’ issue about the Brunel building or the multi-storey car parks.  They do not provide ‘Soft FM’ services such as cleaning, portering, catering and waste management as these are provided by the Trust with staff employed by NBT.

Who holds the contract with Carillion ?

The Trust has entered into a contract called ‘the Project Agreement’  with an organisation which is made up of the companies who have invested in and fund our new facilities. This organisation is called ‘The Hospital Company (Southmead)’ (THC) and is what is known as a Special Purpose Vehicle.  Although THC is responsible for ensuring that it delivers the services set out in the Project Agreement, it arranges for them to be performed through sub-contractors who have the necessary expertise. In this case, THC sub-contracted with Carillion Services Ltd for the Hard FM services and with Carillion Construction Ltd for the building works. Importantly, THC is accountable to the Trust for any failure by Carillion or other sub-contractors.

How many Carillion employees work at Southmead Hospital?

There are currently 66 employees covering a range of activities including estate maintenance, grounds and gardens, plumbing, electrical and mechanical works and customer services.  There is also a management team based in the Brunel building.

Are there any other people or companies providing services to Southmead Hospital on behalf of Carillion?

Carillion Services does not provide all the services by their in-house team. Some of these are sub-contracted out to other companies especially when the activities are specialist in nature.  As a result of the current situation, negotiations are proceeding with sub-contractors to arrange for them to continue to provide services to the Trust.

Does Carillion plc still have any stake in the Brunel Building at Southmead Hospital?
No, Carillion plc no longer has any shares in THC.

What will now happen with Lime Walk and Sherston buildings?

The Trust and THC are in discussion with PwC and NHS Improvement about the Lime Walk and Sherston buildings and the importance of their demolition continuing in order to allow the final stages of the redevelopment of the Southmead Hospital site to be completed.  We anticipate that a programme of works will be agreed so that the vision for site can be finally realised.

What steps have been taken to prevent any disruption to services at Southmead Hospital?

In autumn 2017, the Trust and THC reviewed and further developed our business continuity plans when it was becoming apparent that Carillion’s financial health was deteriorating. These plans were tested with NHS England and NHS Improvement together with other NHS Trusts potentially affected by news about Carillion.  This meant that we were in a good and well prepared position when Carillion’s liquidation was announced. 

Whilst we have some immediate activities to resolve, we are working in partnership with THC, Carillion’s Southmead staff and other organisations to put in place long-term arrangements to address the situation.  We have been very impressed by the dedication shown by the Carillion staff who continue to support our hospital services each day.

What happens next?

The Trust meets on a regular basis with THC and existing Carillion staff to ensure that services continue to be provided to the Trust. This includes a daily check of Carillion staffing levels, supplier and sub-contractor attendance and whether there are any Hard FM service performance issues in the Brunel building that are the result of the current situation.  At the same time, we are working to agree a position on the completion of the construction works and developing the longer term plans to return the Trust to a position of having a secure long term services provider.

More information is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/carillion-declares-insolvency-information-for-employees-creditors-and-suppliers and on the liquidation process on https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/business-recovery/administrations/carillion.html