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‘Unforgivable’ backlog of South Devon hospital repairs

Sunday, 18 February 2024 10:55

By Guy Henderson, local democracy reporter

Torbay Hospital (image courtesy: Ed Oldfield/LDRS)

Lib Dem research says health trust needs millions

It’s claimed the trust which runs South Devon’s hospitals needs more than £58million to fix its crumbling buildings.

Nationwide research carried out by the Liberal Democrats says the Torbay and South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust needs more than £58,500,000 to clear its repair backlogs.

Across the country, the research says the amount needed for hospital repairs has reached a record high of £11.6 billion, which is more than £1 billion up on this time last year.

The Lib Dems say it comes as the NHS budget was slashed by £5 billion in real terms following the chancellor’s autumn statement. At the same time, surgery and treatment waiting lists are near record highs.

Reacting to the reports, Torbay’s Liberal Democrats are calling for the government to speed up urgent investment in Torbay Hospital to ensure its buildings are safe and can function effectively.

The hospital has long been earmarked for a huge £350 million rebuild, and in January last year prime minister Rishi Sunak pledged that it would go ahead.

Torbay MP Kevin Foster asked him in the House of Commons for an update on the plan, and the prime minister assured him: “The new hospital scheme for Torbay is part of our plan to deliver dozens more hospitals by 2030. We remain committed to the delivery of that new hospital.”

But Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for the bay Steve Darling, who is also the party’s group leader on Torbay Council, said: “This Conservative government has let our hospitals fall apart.

“The backlog of repairs is putting the patients and staff in Torbay at risk. It is completely unacceptable and utterly disgraceful that it has been allowed to come to this.

“People in Torbay deserve to know that they can go and get the treatment they need in a safe environment. Not having to worry that they are being treated in a place that is not fit for purpose.

“The Conservative party cannot be trusted with our NHS and cannot even be trusted to ensure the basic safety of staff and patients.

“Their neglect of our local health service is unforgivable.”

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