Wednesday, April 12, 2023
HomeLatest NewsUrine and faeces leaking into wards and rooms in NHS England hospitals

Urine and faeces leaking into wards and rooms in NHS England hospitals

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, which includes St James’s University Hospital, was one of the worst affected by sewage leaks (Picture: Getty Images)

Hundreds of sewage leaks were recorded in NHS England hospitals last year, severely impacting staff and patient well-being.

Figures from 55 NHS Trusts show there were 456 sewage leaks over the last 12 months, amid claims hospitals are falling into disrepair due to years of neglect and underinvestment.

The findings detail urine spilling onto wards and ‘faecal matter’ in rooms, with patients slipping on water and ceiling tiles falling down.

One of the worst Trusts affected by leaks was Leeds Teaching Hospital, which recorded 105. North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals were close behind with 80.

The figures were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats.

‘This is a national scandal,’ said Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey. ‘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.’

He called on ministers to find ‘urgent funds to fix hospitals overflowing with sewage’.

The government claims it is investing record amounts in improving NHS infrastructure (Picture: Getty Images)

Staff reporting a sewage leak in an A&E department of The Princess Alexandra Trust Hospital in Harlow wrote: ‘Corridor closed due to sewage leaking out of the toilet, going down the corridor and seeping into the waiting room. Bad, offensive smell, unsafe department as water couldn’t be contained.

‘It was embarrassing to run a department that has sewage leaking everywhere and offensive odour.’

They also pointed out the danger posed to patients by the leak, noting one person ‘collapsed in waiting room doors [and] nearly fell into water’.

Employees at the hospital recorded another patient getting out of bed and slipping ‘due to the water’.

In a separate hospital, there were reports of ‘coloured water’ dripping through the ceiling in a respiratory day unit, urine and ‘faecal matter’ leaking into a security office, as well as urine spilling into wards.

‘At every turn, our treasured NHS is crumbling, from hospital buildings to dangerous ambulance wait times,’ said Sir Davey, adding there was ‘still no sign of the new hospitals promised by this Conservative government’.

‘The government needs to find urgent funds to fix hospitals overflowing with sewage,’ he continued. ‘Patient and staff safety is at risk if ministers fail to act.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘While individual NHS organisations are legally responsible for maintaining their estates, we are investing record sums to upgrade and modernise NHS buildings so staff have the facilities needed to provide world-class care – including £4.2 billion this year and £8.4 billion over the next two years.’

‘More widely, we have invested £3.7 billion for the first four years of the new hospital programme and remain committed to all schemes that have been announced as part of it.’

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