A DISGUSTED hospital employee has raised major health and safety concerns about “pigeons roosting” in the roof of a ward and droppings covering window ledges.

James Dufton, part of the maintenance team at Basildon Hospital, has claimed his team are “struggling to clear” the “disgusting and serious” build-up of bird droppings on ledges and windows around the hospital.

He claims that pigeons are roosting in the roofs of some wards and fears they pose a risk to the health of patients.

Bosses at the Mid and South Essex Hospital Trust - which manages Basildon Hospital – have insisted they are taking measures to discourage the birds and are carrying out regular audits of their wards to tackle the problem, as well as increasing cleaning.

Mr Dufton said: “What they need to do is put in netting, someone in a crane needs to go up there because pigeon droppings are quite serious, and it is the little things like this that need highlighting.

“I have worked here for ten years, and it is a constant battle. People are off with stress trying to keep up.

“It is a disgusting sight and if you go to the Jubilee Ward, the droppings are all up the window.

“It is not nice for the patients. When I started here, there were more people working on maintenance.

“It feels like this place is falling apart or going down with a lack of staff, jobs aren’t getting done and with the amount of pigeon droppings, it is serious and needs highlighting.

“I’ve seen a lot of this, and it needs to be sorted, I have reported this before.”

Mr Dufton added that he does hope the situation can be improved by working with the hospital and finding a method to disincentivise birds from roosting in the roof space.

Chris Howlett, senior director estates and facilities at the Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, said: “We are aware that birds do roost and fly around the outside of our buildings, and we have a number of measures in place to discourage them.

“We have regular audits of our wards and issues like this are escalated for action.”