Growing maintenance backlog across NHS confirms need for capital funding in upcoming spending review
14 October 2021
Responding to the publication of the 2020/21 estates return information collection data by NHS Digital, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:
"Today's figures underline yet again the need for a multi-year NHS capital funding settlement to improve access to treatment, bear down on the backlog of care and transform services.
"We have argued for several years that the NHS needs wide ranging investment across its estates and facilities in hospitals, mental health, community and ambulance services to tackle the alarming maintenance backlog – which now stands at £9.2bn. This is vital to ensure NHS buildings and equipment are safe, efficient and reliable.
"The benefits of capital investment are substantial. A multi-year settlement would allow the NHS to increase physical and diagnostic capacity, accelerate digital transformation, reconfigure hospitals to deal with future waves of COVID-19 and winter pressures as well as creating safe therapeutic environments for mental health services and investing in new ways of treating patients to improve outcomes.
"We welcomed the government's recent announcement of increased revenue funding for the NHS, but this will not deliver the desired improvements without appropriate capital expenditure. As we reach the final, critical stages of negotiations on the spending review, it's vital the government heeds trust leaders' warnings and gives the NHS the capital investment it so desperately needs."