Cost of capital neglect is staring us in the face

17 October 2019

Speaking ahead of publication later this morning of the 2018/19 estates return information collection by NHS Digital, NHS Providers deputy chief executive, Saffron Cordery, said:

"It’s vitally important that we start to see real progress in tackling NHS backlog maintenance.

"The problem has been getting worse, year after year, as we have seen capital funding – for buildings and equipment – diverted into day-to-day spending.

It’s vitally important that we start to see real progress in tackling NHS backlog maintenance. The problem has been getting worse, year after year, as we have seen capital funding – for buildings and equipment – diverted into day-to-day spending.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive


“This has allowed an overstretched NHS to ‘keep the show on the road’, but stored up problems for later."

"Those problems are now staring us in the face.

"On one level, this is about a mounting backlog bill – which has grown by over £1bn during the last four years.

"But there’s also a real, immediate and tangible impact on patients, service users and NHS staff.

"In our recent survey of trust leaders more than 80% felt that continued underinvestment in capital was putting patient safety at risk.

"The NHS needs modern well-maintained scanners and theatre equipment to function reliably; it needs to eradicate ligature points and dormitory wards from mental health facilities - and it must ensure ambulance crews and community teams have the kit they need to respond to the growing challenges they face.

The NHS needs modern well-maintained scanners and theatre equipment to function reliably; it needs to eradicate ligature points and dormitory wards from mental health facilities; and it must ensure ambulance crews and community teams have the kit they need to respond to the growing challenges they face.

Saffron Cordery    Deputy Chief Executive


"Of course we welcomed the government’s recent funding announcement for six new hospitals and plans for more to come.

"That’s a helpful start – no more, no less.

"But the NHS estates returns – to be published this morning – will give a further illustration of the scale of the problem.

"In order to tackle it we will need a multiyear settlement on capital that brings spending into line with other comparable economies, together with a better way of ensuring the money gets to where it’s needed most."

 

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