Weston General Hospital 'needs £6million to repair issues'
PUBLISHED: 06:19 08 January 2019
Millions of pounds worth of repairs are needed to fix issues at Weston General Hospital.
Figures released by NHS Digital for 2018 show a backlog of £5.9million in improvement work is needed.
Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) stresses the safety of its premises is not compromised by the outstanding work.
Around £17,000 of jobs were classed as ‘high risk’, meaning 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.
The cost of ‘significant risk’ repairs – those which could pose a risk to safety or disrupt the delivery of care – was £175,000.
A WAHT spokesman said the high-risk upgrade of a medical gas pipeline has been done.
They said: “The hospital is 32 years old and its infrastructure is sound and operationally safe. The repair costs are very much the average compared with other small hospitals nationwide.
“In 2017-18 the completed trust projects included the refurbishment of the endoscopy department and the installation of a chilled water plant in the roof space which removes heat from the building.
“This year’s ongoing projects include updating the X-ray department and upgrading the MRI scanner – this project has been supported by the League of Friends and many kind donations has seen the total get closer to the £400,000 target.
“The major capital projects planned over the next five years are upgrading the ventilation systems and passenger lifts, ward refurbishments – this has already commenced on Cheddar Ward – and renewing windows.
“The significant risk repairs are a survey of water systems and producing up-to-date schematic drawings and updating electrical panels and emergency lighting – both of which are taking place this financial year.
“The moderate risk repairs include upgrading the ventilation system and refurbishing the lifts, ward areas and windows, all of which are all on the trust’s five-year plan. The low risk repairs are updating internal lights, flooring and general decoration which are ongoing.
“The support we receive from the League of Friends and the community in raising money for improvements and equipment is vital and greatly appreciated, and benefits both staff and patients.”
In the past financial year, the repair bill grew by 25 per cent, despite a £218,000 investment by WAHT.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “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.”