The opening of the new £150 million Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh has been delayed by at least six months.

The major new hospital will now open in the 2018, not 2017, health bosses have revealed.

IHS Lothian Ltd, the consortium building the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Clinical Neurosciences, in Little France, has informed NHS Lothian that they are reviewing the construction timetable for the project.

An exact timetable for the hospital has yet to be finalised, they say, but "early indications" are that the building will now open to patients in spring 2018, as opposed to autumn 2017 as previously planned.

The delays have been caused, IHS [Integrated Health Solutions] Lothian said, by two companies working on the hospital getting into financial difficulty.

One has entered administration and the other provisional liquidation, resulting in, a statement from NHS Lothian said "a temporary pause to their work streams."

The Dunne Group, responsible for construction of the concrete frame, ground works and associated support services such as tower cranes, recently entered administration.

More recently JB Brickwork, providing materials and labour to construct brickwork, entered provisional liquidation.

NHS Lothian said that work has also been hit by "unfavourable winter weather and unavoidable technical construction problems."

IHS Lothian Ltd is the company selected to design, build, finance and maintain the new hospital.

Jim Crombie, acting chief executive of NHS Lothian, said: “We will continue to work closely with IHS Lothian Ltd to ensure that our state of the art new hospital is delivered as soon as possible.

"Projects of this scale and, of this nature, are very rarely straightforward and bring with them many complex and sometimes unavoidable challenges.

"It is important to note that these alterations to the construction timetable will not result in any additional costs to NHS Lothian."

He added: "Whilst this change is frustrating for our patients and staff, we must not forget that construction of this impressive new building is continuing and that much work has already been achieved.

"In addition, the project has already created a host of new entrant jobs for local people, including apprentices and graduate opportunities.”

A full revised programme for the work is due from IHS Lothian Ltd in October.

Building work continues on the site.

IHS Lothian Ltd consists of Macquarie Capital as sole sponsor and exclusive financial advisor, Brookfield Multiplex Construction Europe (Design and Build Contractor) and Bouygues E&S (Facilities Management provider).

Construction work started on the building in February 2015.

The six storey building will have a large atrium, a skylight linking both hospital entrances, a helipad on the roof and a link building joining to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and paediatric emergency departments.

It will also bring with it an increase in single rooms with ensuite facilities.