Hospital buildings need millions spent on crucial repairs
NHS buildings across Greater Manchester need millions of pounds of repairs to bring them up to scratch, shock new figures have revealed.
Data released by NHS Digital has revealed the extent of the maintenance backlog across NHS property and facilities in England, with the British Medical Association warning it is having an impact on patient care.
The research found that The Manchester University NHS Foundation and Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trusts require millions of pounds worth of urgent repairs in order to prevent ‘catastrophic’ failures and a risk to safety.
The Manchester University Trust – which includes Manchester Royal Infirmary and Eye Hospital, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s, Wythenshawe, Withington and Trafford General hospitals – is currently sitting on a backlog of £49m worth of repairs or replacements which should have been carried out on its buildings and equipment.
Around £4.7m worth of the outstanding jobs are classed as ‘high risk’ repairs – which mean they could cause ‘catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies in safety liable to cause serious injury and prosecution’ if not addressed immediately.
The backlog at the Pennine Acute Trust – which includes The Royal Oldham, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester and Fairfield General Hospitals – stands at £16.8m, with £6m worth of the repairs classed as ‘high risk’.
Other NHS Trusts in the region which are included in the report are:
The Stockport NHS Trust’s backlog figure is £94.5m and the outstanding jobs which are classed as ‘high risk’ total £3m.
The Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust with £15.1m worth work needed – £340,000 worth of the jobs are classed as ‘high risk’.
The Greater Man- chester Mental Health Trust has a backlog of £11.1m, including around £393,000 worth ‘high risk’ jobs.
Tameside Hospital Trust needs £5.9m spent on repairs or replacements, with the ‘high risk’ figure standing at £800,000.
The Christie NHS Foundation Trust’s backlog is £2.6m and its ‘high risk’ repairs total £143,000. The cost of ‘significant risk’ repairs – those that could pose a risk to safety or disrupt the delivery of care if not prioritised soon - is £1m.
Bolton NHS Foundation Trust has a backlog of £24.4m and ‘high risk’ rapairs are worth £4m.
Examples of maintenance required could include upgrading software on medical equipment, maintaining generators and boilers and ensuring the structural integrity of buildings.
Chaand Nagpaul, council chair at the BMA, said there was an ‘urgent’ need for an injection of capital funding to address the NHS’s ‘impoverished infrastructure’.
Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst at independent health think tank the King’s Fund, added: “Continued underinvestment has left some hospitals delivering healthcare in buildings that are quite literally falling apart.
“Deteriorating facilities and unreliable equipment can expose staff and patients to increasing safety risks and make NHS services less productive as operations and appointments may be cancelled at short notice.”
John Kell, head of policy at the Patient’s Association, said: “It is an unsustainable situation – both patients and the staff who work in the health service deserve much better.”
The NHS has a capital funding budget, which is the money to be spent on maintaining, improving or acquiring buildings and other assets rather than on the day-to-day running of services.
Over the last four years, the Department of Health and Social Care has transferred money from the capital budget into the pot for day-to-day spending.
North Manchester General Hospital