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Months of drama, 'worst imaginable' conditions and ceilings collapsing... what's going on at Stepping Hill Hospital?

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Bricks strewn behind metal fences, men in hardhats ripping out wooden beams, bulldozers moving in on a hospital building. Razing an outpatients department to the ground is a scene that doesn’t make any sense to anyone who has found themselves sitting in A&E for hours, on a waiting list for months, or failing completely to get an NHS dentist appointment.

But this hospital has been crying out for money to fix its crumbling infrastructure for years – even before this outpatients building was deemed structurally unsafe by inspectors, and the decision was made that it had to be pulled down.

In just four months, Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport has seen one of its major outpatients buildings condemned, followed by two ‘unexpected and unrelated’ ceilings collapsing in its radiology department and its critical care unit.

Those incidents have led to a serious dip in the capacity for outpatients appointments, and the hospital's intensive care department being out of action for days.

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