Diverting capital spending stores up problems for the future
30 April 2018
The Labour Party has released new figures which highlight the scale of the maintenance backlog facing NHS trusts.
The figures show:
- 71% of trusts have experienced leaking or broken roofs between 2015 and 2017, with at least 3,500 separate incidents declared during that time.
60% of NHS trusts reported experiencing broken or leaking sewage pipes between 2015 and 2017, with at least 678 separate incidents declared during that time.
42 trusts gave details of outstanding repair bills, reporting £13 million for outstanding fire maintenance and £4.4 million for roof repairs.
Responding to the figures published by Labour on maintenance problems in the NHS, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
"In recent years, funding to maintain and develop NHS buildings and equipment has been diverted increasingly into dealing with day to day pressures.
"In 2016/17 for example, this amounted to £1.2 billion, more than 20% of the capital budget.
"As we see from the figures published today, this approach simply stores up problems for the future.
Not only are we seeing a growing maintenance backlog, but the proportion deemed ‘high’ and ‘significant’ risk has also been rising year by year.
"Not only are we seeing a growing maintenance backlog, but the proportion deemed ‘high’ and ‘significant’ risk has also been rising year by year.
"This increases the likelihood of disruption and delays, and may pose a risk to patient safety.
"Last year’s cyber attack was a further reminder of the importance of ensuring that NHS equipment, including IT, is up to date.
"We welcomed the recognition by the government of the need to upgrade estates and capital, in its response to last year’s Naylor report.
"But we are still concerned that the funding announced so far isn’t enough.
"This will be a key priority that must be addressed in establishing the long term sustainable funding for health and social care to which the government is now committed."