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August 29, 2018

Cambridge Memorial Hospital project delayed again


Officials at Cambridge Memorial Hospital are not surprised to hear the contractor has revised the handover date for the hospital’s new wing for an eighth time.

In June, hospital officials were told by the builders the new patient-care wing would be ready for handover Aug. 30. In July, the builders revised the handover date to Sept. 7, and now the handover date is being pushed back further, to Dec. 3.

“Late Friday, the contractor sent us a revised handover date of Dec. 3, 2018, for the completion of phase 2 (the new patient-care wing),” said junior communications specialist Stephanie Wilson in an email.

Completion of the new wing is now almost two years behind.

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“While this (new) date is closer to our team and consultants’ estimates, we have not been given any plans on how they (the contractors) will address major deficiencies,” Wilson emailed. “Given the contractors’ history with delays, we are wary that these 100 days will be enough for them to finish this part of the project.”

The new 240,000-square-foot addition is part of the ongoing $187-million hospital redevelopment project. Once the new wing is completed and it becomes operational, renovations will begin on the older parts of the hospital. It is anticipated those renovations would take another 26 months to compete.

The continual delays are causing mayhem and frustration at the hospital as staff push back purchases of new equipment, training schedules are rearranged and preparations to move into the new wing are placed on hold.

The situation is most acute in the hospital’s emergency department, which has been split in half by the construction. The registration and triage functions were relocated when the emergency entrance was moved to another part of the hospital to accommodate construction. That move has complicated the day-to-day operation of the emergency department, which was originally designed to serve 32,000 patients annually, but now serves 54,000.

The splitting of emergency department functions took place in April 2015 and was supposed to be completed by early 2017.

Mayor Doug Craig has recently taken up the hospital’s cause calling it “a real concern for our community.”

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