Mental health patients left in dilapidated wards amid £677m repairs backlog

Mental health patients left in dilapidated wards amid £677m repairs backlog

Spoiled mental health Facilities across the country are in need of £677m worth of repairs to fix sewerage problems, collapsing roofs and wards that deprive patients of their dignity. the independent it’s been said

An NHS analysis of the government’s flagship program of 40 new hospitals, seen by the independentit shows that ministers have failed in their promise of ‘parity’ for mental health services as the problems go unaddressed.

NHS psychiatry and trust leaders have warned that outdated heritage is putting patients at risk and have urged the government to include six mental health hospitals in its next round of upgrades.

It comes after health secretary Steve Barclay hinted that the new hospital program could be scaled back after costs were “inflated”.

Data analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, shared with the independent, found that the cost of correcting “high and significant” risks within mental health and learning disabilities hospitals alone skyrocketed from £92m in 2019-20 to £186m in 2021-22, much more than the rise in the 16 percent in costs seen in acute care hospitals. These are hazards that must be corrected to prevent “catastrophic” failure or safety issues that could lead to serious injury.

Saffron Cordery, interim chief executive of NHS Providers, said the independent: “A [overall] The maintenance backlog of £677m in mental health trusts is an unwanted additional burden on overstretched services struggling with an all-time high of 1.8m people in contact with them.”

“What’s so efficient that a mental health trust has to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds every year to repair obsolete buildings? Mental health trusts need capital funds, allocated quickly, fairly and transparently, for more modern facilities, so that patients receive care in the right setting.”

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He said patients and staff are at risk because many buildings are not fit for purpose, warning that things will only get worse until mental health trusts get the capital funds they “urgently” need.

The analysis also found that 6,483 rooms, a third of the rooms in mental health wards nationwide, do not have private bathrooms.

Andy Bell, deputy director of the Center for Mental Health, said outdated buildings undermine safe patient care and failure to invest in improvements puts patients at risk.


Bradford District Care Foundation Trust leaders said the independent that construction problems in his region were forcing patients to stay longer in the hospital and increasing out-of-area placements.

Problems include sewer problems, a lack of wards with private bathrooms, male patient rooms overlooking women’s recreation areas and ward temperature issues that have led to 95 calls a year.

Roof Collapse caused by water leaks in the roof void which led to the plaster falling in.

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Ceiling collapse caused by water seeping into the ceiling void causing plaster to fall.

(Bradford DC)

Dr Sarfaraz Shora, the trust’s deputy chief medical officer and consultant psychiatrist, said patients were “distressed” by the ward environment, adding: “We had sewage in the ward and it was very distressing for the patients but also for the staff. “We have 21 sick patients who have to share a bathroom. In today’s times, it is unheard of for someone who is so distressed and has to share a bathroom to add to their distress.”

“Imagine if we had better properties, you know, it will help us help our patients stay hospitalized for the shortest possible time, in the best environment and help them and help them in their recovery and not get re-traumatized. taking them to these rooms,” she said.

Mike Woodhead, the trust’s director of finance, contracting and assets, said its Lynfield Mount Hospital, which was built in the 1950s, was no longer “fit for purpose”, with water pouring from the roof and a buildup of maintenance of £68 million.

The trust was first applied to the new hospital program in 2020 and Woodhead said the trust had since “thrown money down the drain” on maintenance.

He said the new hospitals program was the only chance to get the £90m needed to rebuild Lynfield Mount and said the abandonment of mental health hospitals showed “structural discrimination” against the sector.

It comes despite the fact that the government promised that mental health would be a priority within its new hospital program.

‘Parity of esteem’

Bradford West Labor MP Naz Shah said he knew how “desperately in need of funding” Lynfield Mount was and said the government must act now to ensure “leveling across the country”.

“There have been many independent reports outlining the desperate need for more investment in NHS mental health properties like Lynfield Mount Hospital, as they are recognized as the worst buildings on NHS property. However, they are continually ignored.

“I call on the government to make good on its promise that the last eight hospitals in the New Hospitals Program will prioritize mental health and improve the regions.”

Dr Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said it was imperative that mental health services not be left behind as the government upgrades the NHS infrastructure.

“Many of the buildings used to provide mental health care in England are unfit for purpose, posing serious challenges for those receiving treatment and those who work in those facilities,” he said.

Labor’s shadow mental health minister, Dr Rosena Allin Khan, said the findings were “yet another example of the Conservatives failing to equate mental health with physical health”.

“Under the Conservatives, a quarter of NHS mental health beds have been cut and waiting lists have skyrocketed – patients deserve to be treated in safe, clean, fit-for-purpose environments.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said it had invested £150m over the next three years in mental health crisis services to support people outside of A&E and committed £400m to eradicate wards. bedrooms for next year.

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