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PFI firm agrees to pay for hospital’s safety improvements

A private equity-owned private finance initiative company, ByNorth, has agreed to pay for North Middlesex Hospital, London, to be made fire-safe. The company was responsible for building the hospital in 2011.

Parts of North Middlesex University Hospital in London failed a fire resilience test after the Grenfell Tower disaster in 2017.

HSJ reports that an agreement was reached with ByNorth , and a subsidiary of French construction firm Bouygues responsible for construction, to make it safe earlier this year and the trust has now confirmed it will not have to fund the work itself. 

A report to the trust’s board earlier this year said the external cladding fitted to its main building did “not contain any fire retardant materials”.

The issue affected “link corridors, clinical outpatient areas, A&E and theatre corridors, discharge lounge, main entrance and associated offices”, it said, adding: “There are deficits in the provision of fire cavity barriers in locations where they would be expected to exist”.

ByNorth, the PFI firm,  is owned by InfraRed Capital Partners. The contract between the NHS and ByNorth runs until 2041. The annual revenue reported in its latest accounts was £19m.

Full story in HSJ, 8 May 2024


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