Royal Berkshire Health Trust is spending nearly £2 million on urgent repairs to its hospital in Reading – and is investigating whether subsidence issues could affect the whole site.

The revelation comes after the Trust’s top boss hinted that he would prefer to see Royal Berkshire Hospital move to a new site.

The Trust was last week given planning permission to carry out repairs to the North Block of the East Wing. Subsidence has caused floors and walls to crack, while many of the upper floors and roof suffer from dry rot.

A document submitted to Reading Borough Council says that poor ground conditions are “common” across the hospital site.

The document says: “Due to localised poor ground conditions (common across the site), the northern end has subsided, evidenced by significant cracking to the walls visible from inside and outside of the building.”

Now, a spokesperson from Royal Berkshire has said that the repairs will cost £1.9 million pounds, and involve work to replace soil worn away by erosion. They added that the Trust is examining the ground on the rest of the site to see if more work is needed.

The spokesperson said: “The work on this unoccupied building is to remedy issues identified by a geological survey we undertook last year as part of the ongoing work around the hospital improvement programme.

“The work will involve injecting cementitious grouting to replace sub-strata layers which have been eroded over the years by the water table and flow of groundwater. As part of the work, which is costing £1.9m and will be completed next month, we will also be replacing some drains.”

They added: “Alongside this work, we will be carrying out further surveys of the geological strata of the site and will help us inform any future site developments.”

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Royal Berkshire is among the 40 new hospitals that the government has promised would be built by 2030. But plans for a new hospital have faced delays, with the government and Trust bosses still discussing whether to stay at the current site, or move elsewhere.

Trust CEO Steve McManus suggested on Wednesday, July 5, that maintenance issues at the current site make moving a better option.

He said: “We've clearly got physical estate that consumes levels of maintenance that, in more modern buildings, because of the physical environment, we know that money would be better applied.

“The ability to create a brand new hospital on a new site would probably give us the best opportunity to use some of that investment to really create a hospital that would stand the test of time.”