REPORTS of ‘insects biting staff ’ as well as ‘ant and fly infestations’ at Colchester Hospital have been revealed in a damning report.

Freedom of Information Requests by the Liberal Democrats have revealed the extent of pests roaming NHS hospitals across the country.

Overall, there has been a rise in pests reported at hospitals, from 5,292 in 2021/2022 to 6,666 in 2023/2024.

At the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which cares for patients at hospitals in Colchester and Ipswich, the number of pest reports has also risen.

The number of reports has gone from 66 in 2022/23 to 86 in 2023/24.

A total of 75 reports were made in 2021/22.

However, further details reveal damning claims made by ESNEFT staff.

Gazette: Pests - Colchester Hospital has seen pest reports made relating to mice, wasps, spiders and cockroachesPests - Colchester Hospital has seen pest reports made relating to mice, wasps, spiders and cockroaches (Image: Newsquest)

Staff have reported “black insects are biting the legs of staff”, “ant and fly infestations” as well as “rats in the ambulance area”.

Other pest reports made across Colchester Hospital include issues relating to mice, wasps, spiders and cockroaches.

Reports of pests say the sightings have been in various locations, including in the Children’s Ward, Nayland Ward, Stroke Unit, A&E and more.

Elsewhere in Essex, the Princess Alexandra Trust, said it has forked out over £270,000 on pest control since 2021.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey dubbed the revelations “shocking”.

“These are another sign our hospitals are no longer up to scratch for sick patients and hardworking staff,” he said.

Since 2021, more than 60 NHS Trusts have reported £3.7 million spent on pest control at their hospitals.

'We take pest control seriously'

Nick Sammons, director of estates and facilities at the trust, said: “We take pest control seriously at ESNEFT.

“We want to provide the best environment possible in our hospitals for our staff to work in and so we can deliver high-quality care for our patients.

“We use contractors to identify and deal with any issue quickly, so patients and staff are not affected.

“Keeping our clinical and non-clinical areas pest-free is essential.

“We take a proactive approach to maintain these standards and keep any issues under control.”