MORE than £2.5m needs to be urgently spent on Tynedale’s main hospital to bring its building up to scratch, figures have revealed.

NHS Providers has released figures of how much Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust needs to spend to fix hospital buildings falling into disrepair, and putting patients’ lives at greater risk and making it more difficult for frontline staff to provide the right quality of care.

The figures revealed more than £60m was needed to improve buildings across the trust’s area, with desperately £2.6m needed at Hexham General Hospital.

Figures from NHS Digital show that at the end of March last year, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust needed £67.4 million worth of work to eliminate the backlog of maintenance required at its sites.

Around £10.1m was required for medium and low grade maintenance, which typically relates to improving the patient environment and can include the refurbishment and repainting of a building.

Of that total, a further £3.3m was needed at Hexham.

In December, the Government announced a £600m scheme to help trusts eradicate the backlog – with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust awarded £2.1 million towards 14 projects.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “The backlog is now broadly equivalent to the annual cost of running the entire NHS estate. More worrying still, over half of this is for work of high or significant risk.

“In short, this problem poses an increasing threat to safety.”