THE COST of the maintenance backlog at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board's buildings has risen to £250 million, new figures reveal.

The health board, responding to a Freedom of Information Act request from the Welsh Conservatives, confirmed that the backlog maintenance costs stood at £247,864,441 for the year 2021/22.

This was more than double the figure for the previous year – £112,662,395 – while in the previous three years, between 2017/18 and 2019/20, the figure remained at around the same level – rising from £100.8 million to £104.6 million.

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “The increase in our backlog maintenance costs is mainly due to the age and deterioration of our hospitals and other buildings within the estate.

“In addition, the well-publicised increases in inflation and the cost of raw materials mean that maintenance costs have significantly increased.”

They added: “Any maintenance work deemed urgent will be prioritised and resolved as soon as possible by the health board.”

Responding to the FOI request, a health board spokesperson said a “structural investigation” was looking at the structural integrity of the reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny, and that an action plan and maintenance programme would be undertaken “should this be required”.

Of Wales’ seven health boards, Aneurin Bevan reported the highest backlog maintenance costs, with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board also responding with costs of £239,955,528.

Swansea Bay University Health Board did not respond to the FOI request, while Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board said it did not hold the information requested.

The total maintenance backlog costs across the five health boards which responded to the request was £748,554,430, up from £572,050,599 the year before, and more than double the £306,599,408 of backlog maintenance costs in 2018/19.

Welsh Conservative shadow health minister Russell George said the rise in these costs was “staggering”.

“Without addressing this, there is a risk of patients having treatments and operations cancelled, and by delaying work and allowing the maintenance list to spiral like this, the risk has increased,” he said.