Huge spike in ‘high risk’ maintenance problems at trusts

The backlog of “high risk” maintenance problems at NHS trust estates increased by almost 70 per cent last year, as capital investment has continued to fall.

According to new estates data relating to 2015-16, NHS providers face costs of £775m to deal with high risk maintenance issues, compared to £458m in 2014-15 and £357m in 2013-14.

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High risk maintenance refers to repairs or replacements that must be addressed urgently to “prevent catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies in safety liable to cause serious injury and/or prosecution”.

There was also a sharp spike in problems classed as “significant risk”, while problems classed as “moderate” or “low” risk both declined, according to the estates and returns information collection published by NHS Digital today.

Overall costs to eradicate the total backlog increased by 15 per cent last year to almost £5bn.

Full story in the HSJ 11 October 2016