NEARLY £20 million worth of repairs are needed at Barrow's hospital, including items posing a 'significant' safety risk.

The maintenance backlog at Furness General Hospital stands at more than £19 million with more than 120 repairs needed.

The scale of the backlog was revealed following a freedom of information request by this newspaper.

Addressing the backlog has been described by health chiefs as a 'significant challenge' and major funding is due to be awarded as part of project to build new hospitals.

Included on a list of repairs needed is £60,000 of work on foundations said to pose a 'significant' safety risk.

And nearly £3 million is needed to be spent on windows.

Other high-value repairs needed include drainage works worth £2.3 million and the replacement of doors totalling £1.6 million.

FGH is due to receive funding under the New Hospitals Programme, which is exploring replacements for hospitals in Lancaster and Preston.

A Case for Change document setting out the need for upgrades said: "Furness General Hospital (FGH) is faced with a significant challenge caused by backlog  maintenance in estate that fails to meet some Health Building Note standards and capacity requirements.

"This inflates the issues the hospital has in recruiting and retaining staff.

"There is also a significant risk that, as currently constituted, this site may never meet crucial carbon emission standards."

Scott McLean, the chief operating officer of the University of Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The safety of the population using our services, or staff delivering those services, is the most important thing for us.

"Every month, hundreds of planned preventative maintenance tasks are undertaken to ensure that the Trust's facilities perform and function safely.

"We also have fault logging processes in place to ensure that maintenance issues that arise outside of the planned work, can be picked up by our maintenance colleagues. 

"As with many trusts across the country, we do have a backlog of maintenance and we acknowledge that our resources do not match the level of demand for backlog maintenance. 

"It should also be noted that Furness General Hospital is part of the Lancashire and South Cumbria New Hospitals Programme, which plans to develop new, cutting-edge facilities, offering the best in modern healthcare and addressing significant problems with the ageing hospital estate.

"This will include addressing backlog maintenance of the estate."