WARRINGTON and Halton hospitals face a bill of more than £15million in repairs in order to bring its facilities up to scratch, new figures have revealed.

Statistics released by NHS Digital have shown that Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has a backlog of repairs and replacements needed to its buildings and equipment with a cost totalling £16.3m.

Around £520,000 of the repairs in this bill are classed as being high-risk - problems that could cause ‘catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies in safety liable to cause serious injury and prosecution if not addressed immediately’.

There were no recorded incidents of patients being harmed by problems with infrastructure at the hospital in 12 months up to March this year, with the trust spending £1.6m during this time in a bid to reduce its backlog.

But the amount of work outstanding swelled by 16 per cent when compared to the previous year.

The trust’s chief operating officer Chris Evans pointed to the £16m bill as a vital reason for its ambitions to build new hospitals in Warrington and Halton to be realised.

A ‘long list’ of potential sites for a new Warrington Hospital have been considered, while Halton Hospital could be replaced under plans for a ‘healthy new town’ in Runcorn.

Mr Evans said: “Large parts of both Warrington and Halton hospitals have significant repair and maintenance costs, typically associated with aged estate.

“We plan maintenance, repair and improvement works strategically over a 10-year period using a risk-based process.

“In this way, we can ensure that capital is invested where it is most needed to ensure that patient and staff safety is never compromised - we manage any short-term risk on a daily basis.

“We have set out our ambitions to improve our estate in our new strategy, and where we are working with our partners to design and provide high quality, sustainable services.

“Two key elements of this are the new hospital for Warrington - parts of which are 120 years old - and this has been included in the latest version of the Warrington Local Plan.

“The new Halton Hospital and wellbeing campus is at the heart of the Halton Healthy New Town, one of NHS England’s 10 demonstrator sites.

“We are currently exploring a number of opportunities to secure funding to progress these plans and provide modern, purpose-built healthcare facilities to support our staff to continue to deliver great patient care.”