Collapsing ceilings, loose wires and flooded corridors - the pictures of Stepping Hill hospital that everyone should see

Shocking photographs have captured a scene of devastation at Stepping Hill hospital after patients were forced to evacuate when ceilings collapsed.

The hospital has suffered leaks, heating failures and crumbling buildings amid years of neglect. Now images have shown the extent of the problem, showing a flooded corridor and an intensive care unit in disarray.

One photo in the hospital, which is in Cheadle constituency and has been held by the Conservatives since 2015, shows a dark corridor covered in sodden sheets that have been laid across the floors to try to soak up the water. Another is of a critical care unit with water raining through the ceiling panels and brown patches of liquid on the floor.

A sheet appears screwed up on the floor, as water drenches screens and wires usually connected to medical equipment. The photos were taken in March when the hospital saw two ceilings falling through because of heating-system leaks, the Mirror reports.

The collapses happened inside the radiology department and the critical care unit. Seriously ill patients receive intensive and high-dependency treatments in the wards, while dozens had their scheduled procedures and appointments cancelled. Evacuated patients were at first cared for in operating theatres but some were then transferred to a nearby hospital.

Nobody was harmed but the hospital trust apologised to families and their families for the inconvenience caused. Stepping Hill, which was established in 1905, has been long suffering from serious infrastructure problems, yet the hospital's application to become one of then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson's' "40 new hospitals" promise was rejected in 2019.

Its Outpatient B Department was closed last November due to a "significant deterioration of the structure of the building", with appointments diverted elsewhere. In May the building was eventually demolished by bulldozers after being deemed structurally unsafe by inspectors.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, whose party is targeting the constituency at the election, said he was "staggered" when he visited the hospital earlier this month. "When I went round it I was staggered, the fact that one whole unit had to be closed because it wasn't safe, and there was no real plan to deal with that, " he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

"There were many other problems I was shown that needed urgently tackling, I couldn't believe that there wasn't a capital programme for that. We've been talking about crumbling hospitals, Stepping Hill being one of them, but there are quite a few across the country."

Lib Dem candidate for the area Tom Morrison is the Lib Dem added: "We've had a Conservative MP and in that time Stepping Hill Hospital has gradually declined, Outpatients B had to close down, the ICU had to close down because the roof was coming in. Has a Conservative MP changed that? Absolutely not."

Speaking about the photos, Lib Dem Health spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said: “This is shocking. Patients and staff are being put at risk in crumbling hospitals after years of neglect and underfunding by the Conservatives. These images are the legacy of this failed Conservative party and proof that they cannot be trusted with our NHS.

"Ministers should hang their heads in shame at how they have left Stepping Hill hospital to rot. People in Stockport deserve better than this. Stepping Hill hospital needs emergency funding to protect patients and staff before somebody gets hurt."

A Stockport NHS Foundation Trust said: “Unfortunately a heat pump failure in the roof of our ICU/HDU area led to a water leak and ceiling damage during March, and several patients had to be moved to alternative beds while the area was made secure. Families were kept informed of these moves. We apologised to all patients and families for the inconvenience caused.”

The Department for Health and Social care pointed to figures showing, in 2020-21, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust received £3.61million for Stepping Hill Hospital and £4.8m from its Critical Infrastructure Risk fund to address backlog maintenance at the hospital. This is in addition to £30.6m to towards a new Emergency Care Campus.