A trust in the West Midlands has pushed back the opening of its new hospital by six months following “engineering difficulty”.

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust has had to delay the opening of Midland Metropolitan Hospital until spring 2019.

The trust initially aimed to open the site in October 2018 but the mechanical and electrical design of the building has fallen behind schedule.

A date for the rescheduled opening is expected to be announced in the summer.

The new hospital, funded through a private finance initiative, will house the trust’s maternity services, emergency care, inpatient care and surgery. Outpatient care, diagnostics, day case surgery and rehabilitation will remain at the trust’s existing sites

Trust chief executive Toby Lewis told HSJ: “We have a six month delay due to engineering difficulty. During the time of the delay we will not have to pay for the building. On the other level, we will not be able to deliver some of the rationalisation and savings that we want from moving to a single site.”

Mr Lewis said the trust is working out the exact financial impacted expected by the delay. “The big service impact is a further winter spread across two sites, that’s a safe situation but it’s a suboptimal situation… It’s frustrating but not in any sense a disaster,” he added.

David Hollywood, project director for Carillion, the organisation commissioned to build the new hospital, said: “We have made tremendous progress since the first spade in the ground in January last year so we are disappointed with this delay. The mechanical and electrical design, which covers building systems such as heating, lighting and ventilation, is behind schedule and we are working closely with the trust and our specialist design consultant to complete the design and confirm a new completion date.”