NHS hospitals are falling apart as 70% reported leaking roofs

NHS hospitals are falling apart as 70% reported leaking roofs and nearly all centres are plagued with pests

  • More than 70 per percent Trusts of have experienced leaking or broken roofs
  • Some hospitals were also plagued with rodents, ants and wasps
  • A proportion of these incidents have already impacted on patient care

Patients are being put at risk by leaking hospital roofs, wards crawling with pests and blocked sewage pipes, figures show.

Freedom of Information requests reveal that 71 per cent of trusts have experienced leaking or broken roofs between 2015 and 2017, with at least 3,500 separate incidents declared during that time.

Hospitals were also plagued with rodents, ants and wasps. Some of the incidents had already impacted on patient care, shadow health minister Justin Madders said.

The figures reveal that hospitals are now dealing with hundreds of incidents every year. Airedale Trust in West Yorkshire, for example, recorded 314 maintenance incidents alone; an average of 13 per month.

Hospitals were found to be plagued with rodents, ants and wasps. Some of the incidents had already impacted on patient care (file photo)

Mid Cheshire Trust reported one instance where a leaking roof in an X-ray roof caused ‘delay in possible cancer diagnosis’.

Some 60 per cent of trusts reported broken or leaking sewage pipes between 2015 and 2017, with at least 678 separate incidents declared.

Taunton and Somerset trust reported one incident where ‘raw sewage in a clinical area with patients present’ meant they were ‘unable to escalate unwell patient’s care to recovery area’.

A total of 95 per cent of trusts have contracted pest control services between 2015 and 2017, with over 12,000 calls to pest control services recorded.

Freedom of Information requests reveal that 71 per cent of trusts have experienced leaking or broken roofs between 2015 and 2017 (file photo)

Many trusts have reported hundreds of pest issues, with Birmingham and Solihull Trust alone contacting pest control 777 times, an average of 32 times per month.

Some 70 per cent of trusts reported calls relating to rodents, 73 per cent reported calls relating to ants, and 66 per cent reported calls relating to wasps.

The government has used £3.8billion from NHS capital budgets over the past four years to plug holes in revenue budgets, and Labour’s analysis shows that some individual trusts are now facing huge outstanding multi-million pound bills for repair works.

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust alone reported over £4million in maintenance backlog.

Patients are being put at risk by leaking hospital roofs, wards crawling with pests and blocked sewage pipes (file photo)

Mr Madders said: ‘Eight years of chronic underfunding of the NHS by this Conservative government is having a huge impact on staff and patient safety.

‘With the government diverting resources from maintenance budgets to keep everyday services running, vital repairs are not being carried out, creating unsafe work environments which are already disrupting patient care.

‘These latest figures reveal how serious the funding crisis has become, with millions of pounds worth of work needed across the NHS. The government urgently needs to take action to tackle these dangerous conditions.

‘The safety of patients and our hardworking NHS staff is at risk in hospitals with leaking roofs, broken sewage pipes and ageing fire safety infrastructure. There is now an urgent need for greater NHS funding – ministers must take action to make our NHS safe.’ 

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