Concern over condition of some NHS buildings in Sheffield dating back 150 years

Some NHS buildings in Sheffield date back 150 years.
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The Northern General Hospital is “vulnerable to extreme weather events” which it will face as a result of climate change, according to a Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust report.

The report states: “Over the coming decades, climate change will expose our existing buildings to conditions not foreseen when planned and built. Extreme weather situations such as heavy rainfall and heat waves are occurring more frequently.

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The Northern Campus is particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events due to its ageing infrastructure and reliance on natural building ventilation.

The condition of all the Trust’s buildings and their vulnerability to extreme weather is considered “integral” to any ongoing maintenance, which should consider “climate adaptations” as well as energy usage and the functionality of the buildings, the report states.

The Central Campus, containing Royal Hallamshire, Jessop Wing, and Weston Park hospitals, is not as vulnerable. It is less likely to flood and a “significant proportion” of its buildings are mechanically ventilated and cooled.

Some buildings on the Northern Campus were built over 150 years ago. The newest were constructed in 2020.

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Looking ahead, Estates Director Chris Norman, author of the report, writes: “We want to work in a way that has a positive effect on the communities we serve. 

“This means delivering high quality healthcare while ensuring we spend public money well; we are smart and efficient in the use of our resources while helping to build healthy and resilient communities.”

The report proposes “longer term plans to help mitigate the impact of climate change, especially extreme weather events such as heat waves and heavy downpours” are developed.

The paper, setting out the Estates Strategy 2023 to 2028, is seeking approval from the Board of Directors at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust before being launched this month, August 2023.