LEIGHTON Hospital’s trust would need to pay more than £370 million to bring its premises up to scratch.

That is according to the latest figures from NHS England, which show Mid Cheshire Hospitals has a backlog of maintenance work that would cost an eye-watering £373.9 million to complete.

Of that total, £23.6 million would need to be spent to eradicate high-risk issues to avoid serious injuries to patients, major disruption to services or ‘catastrophic failure’.

But the NHS trust says that spending this money would still not provide a modern hospital for patients – so it is pushing ahead with plans to build a new Leighton Hospital instead.

A trust spokesman said: “Over the last 50 years the Leighton Hospital site has undergone many additions and extensions, as the population grew and the needs of our communities changed.

“Whilst some of the buildings have been modernised, much of the hospital remains as it was when it was first built.

“Having already spent millions to upgrade and replace poor construction materials we now face a situation where the majority of the hospital roof and some of its walls must be replaced over the next 10 years.

“Crucially, carrying out this work this will still not give us a hospital suitable to deliver the modern services and highest quality of care that our patients and their families deserve.”

An architects impression of how Leighton Hospital could look

An architect's impression of how Leighton Hospital could look

While Mid Cheshire Hospitals also runs Elmhurst in Winsford and Victoria Infirmary in Northwich, most of the work is required at Leighton – with £3.9 million needing to be spent at those sites.

NHS England data says around £313 million should have been spent on items posing a significant risk to safety or delivery of services, below the high-risk category, while £37.3 million is for low-grade maintenance work.

Mid Cheshire Hospitals spent £1.2 million to cut its backlog in 2019-20, while it was awarded £6.5 million by Government towards eight projects.

Last October, the trust revealed its first plans for the new Leighton Hospital, which it said would be designed to meet the needs of a growing and ageing population whose medical needs were becoming more complex.

A trust spokesman added: “We have put forward proposals to be considered for national funding to build a new Leighton Hospital which will, for a similar cost to carrying out the extensive roof and wall repairs work, give us a state-of-the-art site fit for purpose, now and into the future.

“Building a new hospital is not only the best value for money option – it is the only way forward to give our region a healthcare infrastructure fit for modern service delivery.”

Mid Cheshire Hospitals has also reaffirmed its commitment to funding a new facility in Northwich to replace Victoria Infirmary with existing and new services.