Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nearly half of NHS repairs backlog put staff and patients at high and significant risk - German

New analysis of NHS estates in Wales has revealed that the cost of maintenance and repairs to reduce high and significant risks in NHS buildings to staff and patients is nearly half of the total backlog cost.

The Welsh Health Estates report reveals that the total cost of the NHS repairs backlog is £460 million and that the sum of high and significant risk repairs totals £209 million. While the total backlog of maintenance cost has decreased, there were 51 sites across Wales showing increases totalling over £20 million.

The Estate and Performance Report 2009/2010 also exposes how none of the new health trusts in Wales reached operationally safe levels or complied with statutory and safety regulations last year.

The report shows:
  • A total backlog of repairs of £460 million. (£209 million High and Significant Risk Cost)
  • Two Health Trusts are still failing to meet fire safety regulations set for 2005 and 2008 (Cwm Taf, Powys Teaching)
  • None of the Health Trusts met the 2008 target for statutory and safety regulations (DDA, asbestos, legionella, hazardous waste)
  • None of the Health Trusts met the 2008 target of getting 90% of the health estate in a ‘sound, operationally safe and exhibit only minor deterioration’ standard.
  • The cost of complying with fire safety code is estimated to be £14 million (an increase of £2million since 2008-2009)
  • The total cost of implementing DDA work is nearly £16 million.
  • Veronica German, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Minister said:
    “This report is deeply worrying and shows the real extent of Labour’s financial mismanagement and poor running of our health system over the past years. This report also causes great concern as it reveals that nearly half of the backlog of repairs pose a high or significant risk to patients and staff.

    “It is equally worrying that none of the health trusts met the targets to meet statutory regulations regarding Disability Discrimination Act, Control of legionella and Health and Safety at Work. I don’t think that it’s acceptable that doctors and nurses have to work in buildings that would have to close if they were nightclubs.

    “The NHS in Wales has had since October 2004 to make sure that their buildings are DDA compliant, yet here we are, 6 years on, with £16 million worth of work to be done to ensure access for disabled people.

    “We know that money is tight and that the years to come will be difficult, however the Labour-Plaid Government has had years to address this issue and they failed. Labour has allowed a huge backlog of repairs to build up and now, when money is tight, they seek to address the problems. They are financially incompetent.

    “I want a health service where we have decent and safe buildings where patients and staff can recover and work in without fear from injury or harm.”

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