17-19 February – the weekend’s press release

Hundreds of sewage leaks in England’s hospitals over the last year

  • Shocking reports of patients slipping over on sewage, staff becoming ill and urine & faeces leaking into offices and wards
  • Sewage flows in A&E departments, cancer wards and maternity centres amongst other critical hospital buildings
  • Liberal Democrat Leader demands urgent funds to fix hospitals before more patients and staff suffer from disgusting conditions

Freedom of Information Requests by the Liberal Democrats to NHS Trusts has revealed in the past twelve months there has been a staggering 456 sewage leaks in England’s hospitals. 55 NHS Trusts provided responses which reveal the shocking state of the country’s hospitals.

The worst trust was Leeds Teaching Hospital, it reported 105 sewage leaks and North Tees & Hartlepool Hospitals 80 leaks.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire, which has a roof which that may collapse at any moment and cannot treat patients over a certain weight in some wards as a result, also registered sewage leaks amid speculation the hospital is not up to standard.

Amongst the hospital wards impacted, there are reports of water leaking onto x-ray machines (Salisbury Hospital), sewage leaks in cancer wards (Milton Keynes) and maternity wards (Kidderminster), as well as numerous reports of sewage flowing into Accident and Emergency departments. One hospital reported urine and “faecal matter” leaking into the security office, as well as urine leaking into wards.

The impact on staff morale of the unsafe working environment made clear in maintenance logs. One staff member running a ward described the sewage situation as “embarrassing”. Within the FOI responses, staff revealed the horrors of sewage overflows, in particular at The Princess Alexandra Trust Hospital in Harlow:

  • “There was water flooding the floor…. patient got up the bed and slipped due to the water.”
  • “Raw sewage smell is still on-going and staff are struggling to work in these conditions. They are all experiencing feeling nauseous, having headaches and feeling very tired.”
  • “Department was unsafe, unable to access Minors. We were very lucky that nobody slipped on the water. It was embarrassing to run a department that has sewage leaking everywhere and offensive odour.”

These shocking new reports follow an investigation by the Liberal Democrats which found just one in four of the new hospitals promised by the Government have planning permission. Senior NHS officials are now warning the hospitals will not be built by the 2030 deadline, or worst still, not built at all.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

This is a national scandal. Our country’s hospitals are falling apart after years of underinvestment and neglect. Patients should not be treated in these conditions and heroic nurses should not have the indignity of mopping up foul sewage.

There is still no sign of the new hospitals promised by this Conservative Government. They have taken local communities for granted by yet again breaking a manifesto promise.

At every turn, our treasured NHS is crumbling, from hospital buildings to dangerous ambulance wait times.

The Government needs to find urgent funds to fix hospitals overflowing with sewage. Patient and staff safety is a risk if Ministers fail to act.

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This entry was posted in News and Press releases.

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