Repairs to Wycombe Hospital’s tower have been completed and scaffolding around the building has started being removed.

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust (BHT) said damaged concrete and wall panels at the 1960s building have either been removed or repaired.

Replacement gutters and rainwater channels have also been fitted to keep the building watertight, while ‘support stations’ have been installed to support the outer structure.

A BHT spokesperson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Following the conclusion of temporary repair works, we can confirm that the scaffolding surrounding the Tower at Wycombe Hospital is currently being dismantled.”

Pictures taken this week show that green netting covering the tower for years has been taken down, however scaffolding remains in place.

BHT previously said the scaffolding would be taken down by the end of March, when its contract for maintenance work with Southern Demolition Co was due to come to an end.

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The tower, which houses an intensive care unit and operating theatres, costs around £2 million a year just to continue to monitor the building’s condition and ensure that clinical services can be safely delivered.

Wycombe Hospital has an overall repairs backlog of £100 million with £80 million of this related to the tower alone.

BHT says the tower will no longer be fit for purpose in five years and has begun to move services out of the building.

A spokesperson said this week: “Our main acute services will continue to be provided in Wycombe Tower until we have secured funding for and built alternative facilities on the existing Wycombe Hospital site as part of our public commitment to exit the Wycombe Tower.

“Some of our community services, such as children’s services, are being moved from the Tower to other locations within Wycombe to make it easier for residents to access these services and to provide a better patient experience.”

The tower was designed and built with small, narrow wards, poor ventilation and theatres on different floors.

Concrete facades on the building were found to have crumbled, according to Marcon Construction Ltd, which previously worked on the tower.

However, reviews by BHT have not revealed any reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RACC) in the tower or any hospital buildings.

BHT said the tower will only be demolished if and when alternative buildings are funded and built on the existing Wycombe Hospital site.

The trust has asked the government for up to £200 million to pay for a purpose-built planned care centre for Wycombe.