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Mental health patients left in dilapidated wards amid £677m repairs backlog

Dilapidated mental health facilities across the country are in need of £677m worth of repairs to fix sewerage issues, collapsing roofs and wards that deprive patients of their dignity, The Independent has been told.

An NHS analysis of the government’s flagship programme to build 40 hospitals, seen by The Independent, shows ministers have failed in their promise of “parity” for mental health services as issues are not addressed.

NHS trust and psychiatry leaders warned that the out-of-date buildings are putting patients at risk and urged the government to include six mental health hospitals within its next round of improvements.

Data analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, shared with The Independent, found that the cost of fixing “high and significant” risks in mental health and learning disability hospitals has rocketed from £92m in 2019-20 to £186m in 2021-22 – far higher than the 16 per cent increase in costs seen in acute hospitals. These are risks that must be fixed to avoid “catastrophic” failure or safety problems that could result in serious injury.

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive at NHS Providers, said patients and staff are at risk because so many buildings aren’t fit for purpose, and warned that things will get worse until mental health trusts get the capital funding they need.

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Source: The Independent, 11 December 2022


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