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NHS: Buildings

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funds his Department has received from the sale of former NHS buildings in (a) England and (b) Leeds in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (220706)

In the last 10 years, the total receipts from the sale of former national health service land and buildings by the Department were £2,047 million. Records indicate that, of that sum, £66 million was received from the sale of surplus NHS property in Leeds. These figures do not include sales made by NHS bodies themselves.

The receipts from the Department’s sale of land and buildings are centrally reinvested as a part of the capital funding provided to the NHS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what percentage of the NHS estate in England was not (a) fire safety and (b) health and safety compliant in each of the last five years; what the estimated cost of the works required to achieve such compliance was at year-end in each case; what the cost of the total general repair backlog on the NHS estate in England was in March (i) 2005 and (ii) 2006; and what the outstanding cost of related repairs is estimated to be as of the end of 2008-09; (221530)

(2) what the repair backlog was of the NHS estate, broken down by (a) high, (b) significant, (c) moderate and (d) low risk in each of the last five financial years; and what the overall risk adjusted backlog was;

(3) what estimate he has made of the cost of outstanding maintenance in the NHS in each year from 1997-98 to 2007-08 (a) in total and (b) broken down by NHS organisation;

(4) what estimate he has made of the cost of reaching (a) estate code condition B, (b) fire safety standards and (c) health and safety standards for all mental health trusts in England, broken down by trust;

(5) what targets he has set in relation to reducing disrepair on the NHS estate.

Recent record levels of capital investment in the national health service estate have resulted in a quarter of the estate occupied by NHS trusts being replaced since 1997 and the proportion of the estate that predates the establishment of the NHS itself has fallen from 50 per cent. in 1997-98 to 20 per cent. in 2006-07.

NHS organisations are responsible for the provision and maintenance of facilities to support the delivery of high quality clinical services. Therefore the NHS will locally prioritise investment to reduce backlog maintenance based on risk assessment, reconfiguration planning and available resources. The majority of backlog maintenance relates to low priority work, which trusts will undertake through maintenance programmes. Where higher risks are present, work will be undertaken as a priority. While levels of backlog maintenance vary across the NHS, it is estimated that around 75 per cent. of the total costs to eradicate backlog maintenance is concentrated in 20 per cent. of organisations.

The backlog maintenance categorised according to its risk level is provided in the following table.

Backlog maintenance

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Risk level/definition

£ million

Percentage

£ million

Percentage

£ million

Percentage

High risk

Urgent priority work needed to prevent catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies resulting in serious injury or prosecution

358.2

11.4

329.9

9.0

308.1

8.2

Significant risk

Requires short-term expenditure but can be effectively managed to avoid risk to healthcare services or concern to enforcement bodies

778.2

24.8

982.2

26.6

943.5

25.2

Moderate risk

Requires close control and monitoring but can be managed in the medium term

902.1

28.7

1,219.4

33.1

1,231.5

32.9

Low risk

Can be addressed through agreed maintenance programmes or through strategic plans

1,103.2

35.1

1,152.1

31.3

1,256.6

33.6

Total

3,141.7

100

3,683.6

100

3,739.7

100

Risk Adjusted Backlog Maintenance

1,342

1,744

1,542

The total backlog maintenance for England since 1997-98 is provided in the following table.

Total backlog maintenance (£ million)

1997-98

2,836

1998-99

3,027

1999-2000

3,108

2000-01

3,242

2001-02

3,378

2002-03

3,517

2003-04

3,193

2004-05

3,142

2005-06

3,684

2006-07

3,740

The information for NHS organisations has been placed in the Library. Data relating to 2007-08 are currently being collected.

Information on the percentage of the total patient occupied floor area in the NHS estate in England that is not fire or health and safety compliant has not been collected centrally since 2003-04. At that time the figures were 7.1 per cent. and 8.8 per cent. respectively. The estimated cost of achieving compliance for physical condition, fire safety and health and safety, which in total represent the investment needed to reach Estatecode condition B, for 2003-04, the last available period, have been placed in the Library. This includes NHS mental health trusts. NHS organisations, including foundation trusts, remain responsible for compliance with fire and health and safety laws and regulations.

The data provided has not been amended centrally and the accuracy and completeness of this data is the responsibility of the provider organisation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts have been found to have asbestos in buildings within their responsibility. (221627)

This information is not collected centrally. Responsibility for the identification, safe handling and disposal of asbestos found in any national health service property is a matter for local management. The NHS, along with all other industries has been alert to the risks associated with asbestos for many years, and managers are aware of their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002.