Anne Main calls for additional Government support for West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust to tackle the backlog of repairs and maintenance to its old buildings.
Mrs Anne Main (St Albans) (Con): West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust has been struggling for a very long time. For five of the 12 years from 1998 to 2010, it registered a deficit, which peaked at £27 million in 2005-06. It is struggling because of a backlog of repairs and maintenance to its elderly estate, through a lack of investment from the previous Labour Government. What more can be done to help hospital trusts that are struggling with a massive backlog of ongoing maintenance?
Ben Gummer: My hon. Friend is entirely right. I went to Watford a few weeks ago, and the buildings are in a poor state of repair. They do not enable clinicians to provide the high standards of care that they all aspire to; in many cases, it is difficult to do so. West Herts trust requires additional capital expenditure. I have talked with the trust about how it might realise that, and I am discussing that in the Department at the moment.