Operations are being cancelled at one of Scotland’s busiest hospitals because heavy rain leaks into the theatres.
A damning maintenance report exposes the backlog of work needed at Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, and puts the bill at more than £30 million.
Resuscitation areas are shut when the drains back up after a downpour, according to NHS officials. The report highlights safety concerns including narrow staircases which could put patients at risk.
NHS Lanarkshire has spent £35m at Monklands over the last seven years, including £19m on new theatres and critical care facilities.
However, £30.5m of repairs are still outstanding.
Directors are backing plans for a new £500m replacement hospital which former health secretary Alex Neil says is desperately needed.
They insist it could be built by 2023 but critics fear Monk-lands is being deliberately run down as essential repairs are postponed and services moved to other hospitals.
Peter Owens, Mr Neil’s former office manager and now part of the Stop Monk-lands Orthopaedic A&E Downgrade campaign group, said there was “no question the hospital is being downgraded by the back door”.
He said: “Walk around that hospital and you can see the state it is in, and has been allowed to get in for years now.
“This maintenance backlog is just the latest in the drip, drip approach to the eventual closure of Monklands.
“We warned when they ripped the orthopaedic services out of Monklands it was the beginning of the end.
“The other two hospitals in Lanarkshire were built using PFI so are too expensive to close, so this makes Monk-lands even more vulnerable, and this talk of a new hospital at £500m when the NHS is so skint is just pie in the sky.”
The report into the work required states: “The building has significant issues with drainage and blocked pipes, and with water ingress.
“Further impact includes unplanned closure of resuscitation areas due to drainage backflow, closure of inpatient areas and closure of theatres due to leaks and damage to clinical areas.”
Central Scotland Labour MSP Elaine Smith said: “Monk- lands faces a huge backlog of maintenance and continuing cuts... Given the hospital has already been downgraded with patients being diverted to other hospitals, that simply is not good enough.”