Scottish health boards have been told by the government to halt spending on new construction projects for at least two years, putting jobs at risk and severely disrupting the supply chain, it can be revealed.

Daily Business has learned that letters have been sent to project managers, building firms and architects outlining the clampdown which will also affect NHS activities and staff. The decision follows cutbacks announced in last month’s Scottish Budget.

Sources say a number of firms and recruitment agencies have been forced to withdraw job offers made to candidates linked to a number of developments that will not go ahead.

Daily Business contacted one health board, NHS Lothian, whose director of finance, Craig Marriott, issued a statement saying: “New construction projects are dependent on approval and funding from the Scottish Government.

“Following the Budget announcement in December, the Scottish Government advised NHS boards to immediately stop any project development spend as the Scottish Government does not anticipate starting construction of any new capital projects over the next two years at least.

“Staff and partners are being made aware of the current picture and will be kept updated.”

Sources say that some big developments, including some that are well-advanced, will go ahead, such as the new Monklands Hospital in Lanarkshire.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman issued a brief statement on the health board letters, saying: “This is not for the Scottish Government to comment”.


Sourced from Daily Business