“Shocking” figures have revealed a £35,417,504 maintenance backlog at Watford General Hospital.

Backlog maintenance, a measure of how much would need to be invested to restore a building to specified assessed risk criteria, has hit a record high of £11.6 billion across the country, according to an NHS Digital annual report.

Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats called for “urgent” investment in local hospitals to tackle the bill, which does not include planned maintenance work.

Watford MP candidate councillor Ian Stotesbury said: “The backlog of repairs is putting the patients and staff in Hertfordshire at risk.

“It is completely unacceptable and utterly disgraceful that it has been allowed to come to this.”

He highlighted efforts towards a new hospital at the site, including planning permission being given by Watford Borough Council, and said the “shocking statistics show how desperately we need a new hospital”.

Watford Observer: Cllr Stotesbury (Image: Watford Liberal Democrats).Cllr Stotesbury (Image: Watford Liberal Democrats). (Image: Watford Liberal Democrats)

Questioning whether the build will receive full government funding, he claimed the Conservative party “cannot be trusted with our NHS” and added that a Liberal Democrat MP would “put Watford first” and condemn government inaction.

The cost to eradicate Watford General's "high risk" backlog stands at £164,093, "significant risk" stands as £9,201,821, "moderate" at £17,717,563, and fixing "low risk" issues would cost £8,334,027.

Watford MP Dean Russell said that “in addition to securing the full funding for the new Watford General”, he had “also helped deliver over £51 million pounds allocated for enabling works from the new hospital programme”.

Watford Observer: Watford General Hospital.Watford General Hospital. (Image: Google Street View)

Improvements since 2019 that he highlighted included raising theatre capacity for £3.5 million, A&E upgrades for £2.6 million, £350,000 for mental health crisis upgrades due to finish this year, a 44-bed boost via a £4.2 million refurb set for April, and £2.7 million for 20 trolley/chair spaces.

“I have been successful in working to make sure we receive funding for Watford General against a backdrop of naysayers and negativity from local political opposition,” he added.

“I will continue to put people before political point scoring and will continue to work to deliver for residents across our town.”

Watford Observer: Watford MP Dean RussellWatford MP Dean Russell

A spokesman for the hospital’s trust said: “Watford General Hospital will be rebuilt to provide residents across West Hertfordshire with state-of-the-art facilities.

“We are actively managing the ongoing maintenance needs to ensure the current site is safe for both patients and staff.

“As part of that work, we are updating a survey across all sites to help prioritise the maintenance works needed.”