Recent reports have highlighted that nearly half of English hospital Trusts reported patient care had been delayed or disrupted in the last year as a result of building or equipment issues, according to documents obtained under freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Medical leaders warned these problems were putting operating rooms out of action and creating further delays for the 4.3 million patients on NHS waiting lists, causing their health to deteriorate even further.

A Royal College of Surgeons spokesperson commented, “Anything that delays treatment further, for example closure of operating theatres due to infrastructure failures, sewage is very worrying,”

“The time spent waiting for surgery can be an exceptionally stressful period in patients’ lives. It can have a huge impact on their quality of life and may lead to a further deterioration in their health.”

David Cole, Chief Executive of Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, said:

“Our colleagues in the NHS are under increasing pressure to deliver more and more services year on year maintaining the excellent standards of patient treatment and care the NHS is known for.

“The challenges around a fit-for-purpose estate and facilities continues to be a concern. Events including flooding, sewerage leaks, ceilings collapsing, and failure of essential electrical and air services can have a significant impact on the effective running of a service including operations and diagnostics.

“The continued diversion of capital budgets to prop up under-resourced operating budgets needs to stop to allow NHS teams to properly plan how to maintain a largely ageing NHS estate.”

While funding is essential, it is clear that rigorous estates planning is required including planned preventative maintenance and larger refurbishment projects. To conduct these works periods of downtime are required, and this could potentially further impact on the timely delivery of care. This is where appropriate contingency planning is required to ensure the continuity of patient care.

Further commentary on this can be read at: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/hospital-cuts-sewage-leaks-flooding-nurses-tory-cuts-austerity-labour-a8986986.html

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