Hospital facing £8m repair bill
PUBLISHED: 09:04 28 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:37 28 October 2015
THE repair bill to avoid risks to ‘healthcare and safety’ at Weston Super Mare’s general hospital stretches to almost £8million.
"We’ve invested millions of pounds over the last five years in new outpatients and emergency departments, our scanning department and we’ve completely remodelled our front entrance to improve facilities for patients and visitors. "
A total of £7.98million in repairs, the majority deemed ‘moderate risk’, but some £100,000 requiring ‘urgent priority’ to avoid ‘catastrophic failure’, have been identified at the hospital in a new report from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).
The figure includes outstanding repairs to the building’s physical condition and issues with fire and general safety.
Bronwen Bishop, director of strategic development at Weston Area Health NHS Trust, said recent surveys had shown the building to be in good condition.
Ms Bishop also said the sum is similar to other hospitals nationwide.
She said: “Our buildings and infrastructure are regularly maintained to keep them safe and in working order.
“We’ve invested millions of pounds over the last five years in new outpatients and emergency departments, our scanning department and we’ve completely remodelled our front entrance to improve facilities for patients and visitors.
“We also have an ongoing five-year investment programme which will continue to deliver our maintenance programmes and new works.
“For example, we are currently investing in a complete operating theatre refurbishment and are upgrading Kewstoke Ward.”
Weston MP John Penrose said although the hospital had struggled to maintain its day-to-day running costs, obtaining grants to maintain its buildings had proved less problematic.
The Conservative MP said: “As I hope everyone would expect, I’ve spoken to the hospital’s senior management about this.
“So they say they’ve got a normal five-year maintenance programme, which I suppose we’d all expect on a site that’s over 30 years old, but nothing more than that.
“Their bigger problem, of course, is how to work in partnership with other local hospitals now we know the merger with Taunton won’t solve the running cost issue.”