North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust needs to spend more than £20m to bring its buildings up to scratch, figures reveal.

NHS Providers warned the speed at which the NHS estate is falling into disrepair is putting patients' lives at greater risk and making it more difficult for frontline staff to provide the right quality of care.

Figures from NHS Digital show at the end of March last year, the trust needed £25.5 million worth of work to eliminate the backlog of maintenance required.

Of the total, £2.9 million was needed to eradicate high-risk issues to avoid serious injuries to patients, major disruption to services or "catastrophic failure".

This included £2.6m at the West Cumberland Hospital and £325,000 at the Cumberland Infirmary. About £3.2m should have been spent on items posing a significant risk to safety or delivery of services.

High and significant backlog maintenance usually relates to essential activity, such as replacing a backup generator.

About £19.3m was required for medium and low-grade maintenance, which typically relates to improving the patient environment and can include the refurbishment and repainting of a building.

The sites at North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC) NHS Foundation Trust that require the most maintenance investment are the West Cumberland Hospital with £20.4m and the Cumberland Infirmary on £2.1m.

- Penrith Hospital: £1.7m

- Mary Hewetson Cottage Hospital, Keswick: £170,000

The figures also reveal the trust spent £861,000 to cut its maintenance backlog in 2019-20.

In December, the Government announced a £600 million scheme to help trusts eradicate the backlog – with NCIC NHS Foundation Trust awarded £1.5 million towards one project.

Across England, £9 billion should have been spent on eradicating the backlog of maintenance work required across all NHS trusts.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said it is investing "record sums" to upgrade NHS buildings.

“Alongside funding to deliver 48 hospitals and 20 major hospital upgrades across the country, we are providing £600 million to tackle nearly 1,800 urgent maintenance projects across 178 trusts, he added."

"This is on top of the NHS’s existing capital budgets which are directed to local maintenance priorities.”

A spokeswoman for the NCIC NHS Foundation Trust said: "Patient safety is our highest priority and while the trust recognises investment across our estate is required we can give assurance that our buildings are safe for our patients.

"We will always prioritise work in order to maintain this."

The trust said it provides the figures annually to NHS Digital and while the figures show the maintenance backlog across the trust, "they also include investment already underway to improve the estate; for example the redevelopment of the West Cumberland Hospital and generator improvement works at the Cumberland Infirmary."

It says it is "open about the investment that is required".