The new Royal Hospital is set to cost almost double its original budget and won't be finished until 2022 in a devastating blow for staff and patients.

The hospital was meant to open in 2017 and was already delayed when construction giant Carillion collapsed in 2018.

Work on the site halted shortly after and it was later revealed there were serious problems with the structure of the building as well as its cladding .

Speaking yesterday to members of Liverpool Council's health and adult social care select committee, the hospital's chief executive Steve Warburton said the costs of fixing the defects and completing the hospital are expected to be £300m.

A ward in the new Royal Liverpool Hospital building after it had to be stripped out for remedial work

That is on top of £285m already spent on the building and would bring the total costs to just shy of £600m - far in excess of its original £335m budget.

Mr Warburton said the design of the building meant getting the faulty cladding off the building and replacing it would prove difficult and expensive.

"In simple terms there are a whole series of structural failures and then cladding failures as well.

"However with modern the buildings the cladding is often integral to the structure and that is the case here.

The new Royal Liverpool Hospital.

"It will take a huge amount of work to replace that cladding."

The Royal is one of the busiest hospitals in the north west and its emergency department is one of the largest in the UK.

Thousands of staff and patients will now remain in the ageing current hospital for a total of five years longer than they were originally supposed to stay.

The delays have become so severe that some equipment in the new hospital has been moved into the old Royal so that staff can make use of it.

The old Royal Hospital is in a dilapidated state

Mr Warburton said the trust is still finalising its business case for the extra work on the hospital and that is expected to be finished in February.

He said previous promises were that the extra work would be fully funded by central government not the trust - and he still expected that to be the case.

Mr Warburton said: "We are expecting that business case to be finalised in line with the promises we have already received."

The new Royal was originally funded under a Private Finance Initiative where companies provide money upfront for a project and charge the user annual fees once it's completed.

Nick covers local government and politics for the ECHO, focusing on Liverpool City Council and the city region.

Among other subjects he covers planning, housing, education, deprivation and transport in his role as local democracy reporter.

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However the hospital is now set to be finished with public money after Carrillion's collapse.