‘Crumbling hospitals’ are putting patient safety and care at risk

It would cost a massive £6 billion to undertake all the required repairs.

Ian Snug
5 July 2019
Buckets Hospital Corridor

Sewage and water leaking on to hospital wards, broken lifts, and ceilings collapsing.

Hospitals throughout the NHS are in such a poor state of repair that patient safety and care is being put at risk, according to an investigation by the Labour Party.


A freedom of information requests sent to every hospital trust in England highlighted problems such as sewage and water leaking on to hospital wards, broken lifts, and ceilings collapsing.

The incidents have affected patient care, often leading to the cancellation of appointments and leaving people waiting longer for vital treatment.

It is speculated that these issues are not just confined to secondary care.

£6 billion repair bill.

In one East Midlands Trust, sewage came up the drains in bathrooms and flooded into the ward corridor. Leaving only one shower room for 19 patients.


A Trust in the West Midlands reported a “ceiling leakage” which saw tiles falling off, leaving the labour ward very cold and staff unable to keep babies warm.

Due to water leaking from pipes, one hospital was forced to delay, cancel or re-located operations.

In London, part of an Emergency Department was closed due to a “severe” sewage leak.

According to the party, the total cost to undertake all the required repairs throughout the NHS in England would cost a massive £6 billion.


Rack and ruin.

Commenting on Labour’s findings, Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s Shadow Health and Social Care Secretary, said: “Years of Tory cuts are pushing hospitals to rack and ruin. From ceilings collapsing, sewage pipes bursting to central heating faltering, patient safety and care put at risk.

“The NHS now faces a staggering £6 billion repair bill, £3 billion of which is considered ‘high’ or ‘significant’ risk.

“Patients deserve to be treated in the very best quality health facilities with the most up to date equipment, and yet the Tories have utterly failed to invest in the infrastructure capital budgets. Only Labour will give the NHS the funding it needs.”

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