South Yorkshire hospitals need millions of pounds of vital repairs

Sheffield's Northern General Hospital
Sheffield's Northern General Hospital

Tackling building work which poses a ‘significant or high risk’ at South Yorkshire’s NHS trusts would cost almost £46 million, figures have revealed.

The statistics, issued by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, show the bill for clearing the backlog categorised as a ‘significant risk’ at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals stands at more than £12million.

Barnsley Hospital has a £1.6m list of maintenance work posing the highest risk.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals has the most costly high-risk backlog in the county, totalling more than £2m, with a list of work posing a ‘significant risk’ costing £20.4m.

Hospital chiefs said the jobs included improving the condition of facilities across their sites, including replacing roofing, footpaths and ventilation, as well as upgrading old buildings.

Phil Brennan, estates director at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said the trust had one of the lowest backlog amounts in the health service, despite having one of its largest estates.

The newly-published figures cover 2012-13.

At Rotherham Hospital, dealing with work posing a ‘significant risk’ would cost £3.8m, while Sheffield Children’s Hospital has a £200,000 backlog in the same category.

Sheffield Health and Social Care’s ‘significant risk’ works would cost £300,000.

And the figures show Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Trust, and the South West Yorkshire Partnership had £203,000 and £548,097 backlogs posing the same level of risk.

Mr Brennan said: “The trust invests millions every year as part of the capital programme to upgrade, repair and maintain our facilities.

“The backlog figure relates to estate facilities which are in a condition where investment is required but which pose no risk to clinical services or have safety implications for our staff and patients.

“We take a proactive approach in resolving any risks and assess our estate on a regular basis to prevent disruption to services.”

Meanwhile a spokeswoman for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals said the figures did not ‘relate to any immediate risk’ and reflected its £23m investment in buildings and equipment, announced last year.

“The £2.3m we assessed in 2012/13 as high risk has now been addressed and included replacing or upgrading roofing, footpaths and roads, ventilation, nurse call bells and boiler systems,” she said.

“Plans for the £20.4m category – areas we said would need to be addressed in the next five years – are also well progressed and the work will be completed within timescale.

“It includes our redevelopment of Montagu Hospital over the last 12 to 18 months, with the new Fred and Ann Green Rehabilitation Centre having replaced older facilities there. We are also working with clinical staff and managers on plans for the comprehensive redevelopment of Doncaster Royal Infirmary, much of which dates back to the 1960s and 1970s.

“These plans will see a significant investment in the trust’s estate and DRI site in particular over the next five years to deliver the best possible care environment for our patients, visitors and staff.”