Hartlepool's hospital trust facing more than £5m 'high risk' repair bill backlog
More than £5m is needed for repairs to prevent “catastrophic failures” at Hartlepool’s hospital trust.
New figures released on Friday show North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust has £5.06m-worth of work needed to tackle their “high risk” maintenance backlog in 2018/19.
These are defined as repairs and replacements that must be addressed as an urgent priority in order to prevent catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services – or deficiencies in safety liable to cause serious injury or prosecution.
Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees saw £2.17m of “high risk” repairs needed while University Hospital of Hartlepool came in with a £2.89m backlog.
However, the figure is heading in the right direction with this sum down from 2017/18.
A spokeswoman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said the cost of repairs due was heading down.
He added: “Our current maintenance backlog for our overall backlog has decreased significantly in the last year from £49m to just under £40m.
“We have invested in a robust infrastructure replacement to ensure we address driving down the back-log.
“We have a five year programme to address these issues.
“The backlog maintenance is being managed down in a risk-based approach manner.”
Meanwhile, a further £6m was identified by both South Tees and North Tees trusts to clear their “significant risk” maintenance backlog.
While these are less serious problems than those categorised as “high risk”, they still need to be done as a priority to avoid risks to healthcare delivery or safety.
South Tees runs the Friarage Hospital, in Northallerton, which had a “high risk” list coming to £866,000 – while James Cook University Hospital had no maintenance backlog cost in any category.
Despite the backlogs, Teesside trusts are bucking the national trend.
Across England, NHS trusts needed to spend £1.1bn to tackle their “high risk” maintenance backlog in 2018/19 – up from £1.4bn in 2017/18.
A spokesman for South Tees trust said: “We’ve reduced our high risk maintenance backlog by nearly £1m in the last year.
“We have also invested in new services such as the building of the new state-of-the-art cancer centre at the Friarage Hospital which opened in December 2018.”