Calls for NHS to ‘repair its crumbling buildings’ after rise in floods and fires | UK | News | EUROtoday

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The NHS has been hit by an increase within the variety of floods and fires at its websites previously 12 months, evaluation of official figures reveals.

The variety of floods in 2022/23 was up by nearly 60% on the earlier 12 months, with 279 incidents recorded.

The incidents discuss with flooding at NHS websites the place water has induced disruption, for instance by breaching a constructing or flooding an strategy street.

Records of fires by NHS trusts additionally elevated by near a fifth in comparison with the 2021/22 monetary 12 months, whereas incidents of hospital buildings overheating have been up by 20%.

The Liberal Democrats, who uncovered the figures, mentioned the statistics ought to act as a “wake-up call” for the Conservative UK Government to “fix crumbling hospital buildings before it is too late”.

According to figures from NHS Digital, there have been 1,372 fires recorded by NHS trusts in 2022/23, up 18% from the earlier 12 months.

The elevated determine is equal to nearly 4 fires a day throughout estates run by the nationalised well being service.

It comes after a report, titled NHS Overheating by local weather marketing campaign group Round Our Way, discovered that the variety of incidents of overheating climbed to a brand new file excessive of 6,822 in 2022/23.

That is up nearly 1 / 4 on the earlier 12 months and an increase of greater than 100% since 2016/2017.

The Lib Dems mentioned such incidents discuss with events when the temperature in an occupied ward or scientific space rises above 26C – the temperature at which some susceptible sufferers develop into unable to chill themselves effectively.

The affect of overheating incidents throughout heatwaves within the NHS can embrace affected person misery, failure of important gear equivalent to refrigeration, disruption to IT and laboratory providers, employees discomfort and degradation or lack of drugs, in accordance with the 20-page report launched in June.

The similar research additionally discovered an estimated 90% of present UK hospitals are in danger from overheating, and that incidents are prone to enhance as heatwaves develop into extra frequent.

The Lib Dems are calling on ministers to extend capital funding to improve NHS infrastructure, repair outdated hospital buildings and enhance their resilience to heatwaves and different excessive climate occasions.

Daisy Cooper, well being spokeswoman for the occasion, mentioned: “This sharp rise in flooding, fires and overheating must act as a wake-up call for ministers to fix crumbling hospital buildings before it is too late.

“The Government has didn’t improve run-down and ageing hospitals, leaving them notably susceptible to excessive climate occasions.

“Every day, people are being treated in old and dilapidated buildings because the Conservatives have failed to deliver on the new hospitals they promised.

“This is resulting in numerous incidents that pose a menace to the security of sufferers and to employees, and unnecessary disruption as wards should be shut down.”

A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesman said: “We have invested important sums to improve and modernise NHS buildings so employees have the services to offer world-class take care of sufferers.

“This includes £4.2 billion for estates this financial year, £3.7 billion for the next four years under the New Hospital Programme and £1.7 billion for 70 hospital upgrades.

“Trusts are chargeable for prioritising this funding to take care of and refurbish their premises, together with the renewal and alternative of apparatus.”

The division didn’t reply to questions asking why recorded incidents of fireside and flooding have been up in contrast with final 12 months.