Construction contracts worth up to £100 million for a new hospital in Omagh, Northern Ireland, can go ahead following a High Court ruling against an attempt by a losing bidder to have the contract award set aside.
McLaughlin & Harvey was appointed preferred bidder from a shortlist of seven in October last year. John Sisk & Son Holdings came second by a narrow margin under a scoring system. Sisk would have been the winner had there been any increase, however small, in its score.
Sisk claimed the tendering process and the tender evaluation process was flawed which placed it in breach of the Public Contract Regulations 2006 and European Union law. In the High Court Mr Justice Stephens ruled however that the framework arrangement should proceed, pointing out that considerable engineering works had already been undertaken to get the hospital ready to treat patients in 2016. Construction works already carried out include £3.7 million on bridge costs and £5.43 million on site preparation.
In his ruling, published yesterday, Mr Justice Stephens said:"The balance comes down firmly in favour of the public interest in the construction, in an appropriate timescale, of a new hospital."
The Omagh Enhanced Local Hospital is being built for the Western Health and Social Care Trust and includes a Health and Care Centre with GP Accommodation and provision for over 800 car parking spaces.
It will be located on a section of a 100 acre site within the grounds of the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital some 1.5 miles from Omagh town centre. It includes a 90 bed facility, incorporating a wide range of services including renal services and day case surgery, palliative care, imaging and diagnostics, general outpatients, clinical investigations, a children’s centre, and a women’s health unit.
The proposals also include a new health and social care centre that will have a wide range of services including primary and community care services, GP surgeries, practice accommodation, community mental health, elderly services, and other support and community facilities.