New hospital 'an absolute necessity' for town after second water leak in Doncaster Royal Infirmary maternity unit

Building a new hospital in Doncaster is an “absolute necessity” for the town after a second major water leak in less than six months in its existing facilities, Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher has warned ministers.

Mr Fletcher raised concerns about the deteriorating condition of Doncaster Royal Infirmary following another recent leak within its Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where maternity services are housed.

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Following Mr Fletcher’s comments in the House of Commons, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals has now confirmed that a second water leak happened in the Women’s and Children’s Hospital on September 23.

Concerns have been raised about the repair of Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Chief executive Richard Parker said that leak was repaired within two hours and there were only “minimal disruptions” to services.

During Health and Social Care Questions in Parliament, Mr Fletcher asked Health Minister Edward Argar: “It appears that every time that I am fortunate enough to ask a question relating to health and social care, another disaster has happened at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

“This time, it is a second water leak in the women’s hospital. Given that there is a maintenance backlog of £514 million and the newest part of Doncaster Royal Infirmary is older than the town of Milton Keynes, does my Honourable Friend agree that a new hospital is not a “nice to have”, but an absolute necessity for the people of Doncaster?

"Will he please also visit Doncaster Royal Infirmary, although, with ceiling collapses and water leaks, he may need to bring a hard hat and some wellies?”

Concerns have been raised about the repair of Doncaster Royal Infirmary

Mr Argar said the Doncaster Royal Infirmary is among the places to have put in applications for the Government’s new hospital building programme, with decisions due to be revealed in spring.

He said he was “happy” to take Mr Fletcher up on his offer of a visit to Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Richard Parker OBE, Chief Executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “On September 23, we experienced a water leak within our Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

"This occurred within the area of the east side of the building which has significant work underway to repair the facilities following an incident which occurred earlier this year. The water was isolated within minutes, and the source of the leak was identified and repaired within two hours.

“Thankfully, no patients, staff or visitors were harmed during this incident, and colleagues acted with professionalism throughout these challenges with minimal disruptions to our services. We are currently in the midst of a £12.5 million extension to the rear of this building to support capacity while the full repairs are completed. We anticipate that the new facilities will be in operation by mid-December, and will include two additional wards and a theatre unit.

“While our Estates and Facilities team continue to work hard maintaining our sites, most of the infrastructure at Doncaster Royal Infirmary was built in the 1930s and 1960s, with the demands of these decades in mind, as such we continue to work to realise our ambition of securing funding to build an outstanding new hospital in the town.

“The Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care indicated in the summer that there will be funding for a further eight to 10 new facilities in the future, and as such we have submitted an application to be part of this programme and are developing the business case to ensure that we are in the best position possible to secure this investment for the people of Doncaster and the surrounding areas.”

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