THE builders of Glasgow’s flawed £842million super-hospital have withdrawn from discussions about faulty cladding that could pose a fire risk, according to official documents.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said Multiplex had advised that it will no longer engage in ‘without prejudice” meetings regarding repairs to the linings in the walls of the atrium of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Board papers state that the health board has now appointed its own contractor and pre-construction repairs are “well advanced.”

It emerged in March that concerns over fire retardant sheeting on cavity insulation had been been raised to NHS bosses by the building’s main contractor.

If a fire were to occur, there are fears that it would spread rapidly through the 1,677-bed facility with the potential to cause ‘catastrophic’ consequences.

NHS GGC is pursuing a £73million legal claim against  Multiplex, Capita Property and Infrastructure and Currie and Brown UK for design and construction defects at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children.

They include; ‘systematic contamination of the water system’ and defects in ventilation systems, doors, glazing and heating.

READ MORE: Glasgow hospital walls to be ripped down amid fire safety fears 

Two further court summons were served to Multiplex in relation to the
chilled water system in April 2021 - for which the board is seeking an additional £18million - and internal cladding in March this year.

The health board has been carrying out remedial works and the cost is being met by the Scottish Government ahead of the outcome of the legal case.

The papers state: “Despite competitive dialogue, Multiplex have advised that they will no longer engage further in the ‘without prejudice’ discussions regarding remedial works to cladding in the atrium building of the QEUH.

“This scenario was a known risk and the mitigating position of a contractor directly appointed by NHSGGC is in place with progress on pre-construction activities well advanced.”

The board is also handling 28 civil claims in connection with treatment at both hospitals where “serious failings” have been linked to a string of avoidable deaths.

The claims have been “sisted” - or put on hold - pending the public inquiry that was ordered after the deaths of two adults and a child from infections at the hospital linked to the water supply.

READ MORE: 'high risk' ageing brain surgery unit thrown multi-million pound lifeline 

Police Scotland have also launched a criminal investigation into four deaths at the QEUH and RHC – including that of a 10-year-old girl.

Kimberley Darroch, the mum of Milly Main who died while receiving cancer treatment in 2017, is among those to launch legal action against the health board.

Milly was recovering from leukaemia when her Hickman line - a catheter used to administer drugs - became infected.

Multiplex challenged the legal action, which was lodged on January 22, 2020, on the grounds that it may be “time barred” but the appeal was rejected.

The Court subsequently refused Multiplex and Capital’s motion for permission to appeal LordTyre’s decision, however board papers state there remains a possibility of an appeal at a later stage.

A spokesman for NHS GGC said it was unable to comment while the legal process is ongoing. The Herald approached  Multiplex for comment.

In 2017, NHS GGC announced that cladding  similar to that found on Grenfell Tower was to be removed from the exterior of the QEUH as a precautionary measure.

The health board said it had been assured the hospital is an extremely safe building by Health Facilities Scotland and their National Fire Advisor.

A public inquiry investigating infection deaths at the QEUH and children’s hospital is due to resume this month and will focus on NHS Lothian hospitals built by Multiplex.

The Royal Hospital for Children and Young People was due to open in July 2019 but was delayed after last-minute inspections found safety concerns over its ventilation systems.