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Crumbling hospitals cause over 100 care disruptions a week, NHS figures show

Hospitals in England are being hit with disruptions to patients’ care more than 100 times every week because of fires, leaks and problems created by outdated buildings, NHS figures reveal.

There have been 27,545 “clinical service incidents” over the past five years – an average of 106 a week – data compiled by the House of Commons library shows.

They are incidents the NHS says were “caused by estates and infrastructure failure related to critical infrastructure risk” and are linked to the service’s massive backlog of maintenance, the bill for which has soared to £11.6bn. All the incidents led to “clinical services being delayed, cancelled or otherwise interfered with” for at least five patients for a minimum of 30 minutes.

That means the 27,545 incidents between 2018-19 and 2022-23 disrupted the care of at least 137,725 patients, according to an analysis of NHS data by the Commons library commissioned by Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats.

“These findings are shocking but sadly not surprising, given the dilapidated, and in some cases dangerous, state of so many NHS facilities,” said Saffron Cordery, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health service trusts.

The “unacceptable impact on patients” should spur ministers into increasing the NHS’s capital budget so trusts can urgently overhaul their estates, she said.

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Source: The Guardian, 26 January 2024


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