THE floor of an operating theatre at the Royal Bolton Hospital is at risk of collapse, hospital bosses have warned.

Health chiefs say that without vital investment, the crumbling concrete structural floor supports under a urology theatre could give way - with "dire" consequences.

They have also flagged up asbestos panelling and insulation and a legionella contamination risk in the Princess Anne maternity unit, where newborn babies and their mothers are cared for.

There is also a legionella risk at the Minerva Day Centre, bosses say.

Managers insist they have done temporary building work to keep staff and patients safe, but it will cost about £15 million to fix a multitude of long-term problems at the hospital site.

The cash-strapped Bolton NHS Foundation Trust will have to borrow the majority of the funding needed, but currently has one of the highest backlog maintenance costs in the region, standing at a whopping £24.6 million.

In a report presented to the Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, trust chiefs added that they risk a probation notice from the fire service because of "fire evacuation issues" in the urology department, and there is also a safety issue in the day surgery theatres because of a faulty power supply.

It adds: “The consequences for the trust of not investing in the rationalisation of the estate and addressing backlog maintenance risk programme are dire, with very serious implications on the delivery of clinical services, preventing harm to patients and staff and reputation of the trust.”

The trust has proposed financing the building work by selling off land to raise £4.4 million, collecting a £1.5 million loan and appealing for investment from Bolton CCG and the Department for Health.

Stephen Tyldesley, divisional director of estates and Facilities at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, said the work is necessary to bring the hospital into the 21st century.

He said: “The vast majority of the hospital site is quite adequate, but in common with many trusts with ageing buildings, we need to bring part of our estate up to date to provide the modern facilities patients expect today.

“Some of our older buildings have been vacated and have been or will be demolished under our estates strategy.

“We undertake annual assessment of the condition of our property and ensure any risks are dealt with as priorities.

“For instance we have made provision to ensure areas with asbestos or inadequate floor structure do not pose a risk and temporary works are implemented immediately.

"However we need to invest to make permanent improvements to the estate as a whole.

“We have a wide-ranging estates strategy and are hoping to attract funding towards this from the Department of Health.”