Urgent repairs needed at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust to avoid “catastrophic” failures

PUBLISHED: 08:51 29 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:51 29 October 2018

Addenbrooke's Hospital [Picture: Google]

Addenbrooke's Hospital [Picture: Google]


More than £10million worth of urgent repairs need to be carried out at the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in order to prevent “catastrophic” failures and risk to safety.

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 (BMA) warning it is having an impact on patient care.

The Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Addenbrooke’s Hospital, is currently sitting on a backlog of £101.5 million worth of repairs or replacements which should have been carried out on its buildings and equipment.

Around £12.2million worth of the outstanding jobs are classed as ‘high risk’ repairs.

This means 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.

Examples of maintenance required could include upgrading software on medical equipment, maintaining generators and boilers, and ensuring the structural integrity of buildings.

According to the data, which covers the 12 months to March, problems with the trust’s infrastructure led to 49 incidents where patients were either harmed or put at risk of harm.

There were 17,900 incidents across England during the same period, an increase of 800 in a year.

Chaand Nagpaul, council chair at the BMA, said there was an “urgent” need for an injection of capital funding to address the NHS’ “impoverished infrastructure”.

Last year, the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spent £4.2million trying to reduce its backlog.

Since 2013-14, the cost of the backlog has risen by 40 per cent. The high risk repair bill has increased by £5million, having stood at £7million in 2013-14.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “Investment to tackle this maintenance work has increased by 25 per cent from £324million in 2016-17 to £404million in 2017-18 to help trusts maintain their estates and invest in new facilities.

“We want patients to continue to receive world-class care in world-class facilities, which is why our long-term plan for the NHS will boost funding by £20.5billion a year extra by 2023/24.

“We are also investing £3.9billion into the NHS to help transform and modernise buildings, and improve patient care in hospitals and communities.”

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