POLITICS

Labour Dossier Reveals Ten Times NHS Repairs Backlog Hit Patient Care

Patients treated on steps, leaks on operating tables and power cuts.

31/05/2017 15:35 | Updated 31 May 2017
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A Labour Party dossier has revealed a catalogue of incidents in which hospitals were left struggling under a huge NHS repairs and maintenance backlog.

Jeremy Corbyn, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner held a joint press conference to highlight the impact of ‘Tory cuts’ on the health services and schools.

Labour also unveiled a new campaign poster warning there could be 5.5 million people on NHS waiting lists in England by 2022 - 1.8 million more than today - if the current rate of ‘deterioration’ continues and that waiting times in A&E could go up for a million more people.

The party also submitted Freedom of Information requests to hospital to highlight the backlog of maintenance problems - which will cost nearly £5 billion to clear. 

Among the findings were:

1. Patients forced to sleep in coats

At South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, the temperature of one ward was so cold that staff were working in their jackets and patients were sleeping in their jackets, along with two blankets.

2. Leak onto operating table

Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust reported a leak from the ceiling onto the operating table. Patients had to be re-routed to other theatres and the patient who was being operated on at the time had to have precautionary antibiotics.

3. Decontamination pipe leak

An Isle of Wight hospital suffered a ‘significant leak’ from a decontamination waste pipe, causing flooding in an outpatient department and leaving an endoscopy department out of action for two and a half days.  The problem resulted in 12 cancelled treatment lists.

PA Wire/PA Images
A Labour Party dossier has revealed a catalogue of incidents involving NHS repairs and maintenance
PA Wire/PA Images
Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and Jeremy Corbyn held a joint press conference.
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