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18
Oct

Backlog maintenance hits £6bn


NHS Digital has published the 2017/18 ERIC data. Total running costs, energy consumption and backlog maintenance have all gone up, although NHS Digital highlights that a number of data fields are marked as ‘unreliable’ since definitions have changed since the previous reporting period or are new.

 

Headline statistics for the period April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018:

 

* Total costs of running the NHS estate were £8.8bn [2016/17 £8.6bn]

* Total energy usage from all energy sources across the NHS estate was 11.5 billion kWh [2016/17 11.2 billion kWh]

* Total cost to eradicate backlog maintenance was £6bn [2016/17 £5.5bn]

* Total cost for cleaning services was £1bn [2016/17 £1bn]

* Total cost of providing inpatient food was £0.6bn [2016/17 £0.6bn]

 

Responding to the data, Head of Policy at NHS Providers, Amber Jabbal, says: "We need to act now to ensure vital repair works are carried out to NHS buildings and equipment. There is now nearly £6bn worth of works needed in NHS facilities, the highest figure on record.

 

"Although more of the capital spending this year has been targeted at reducing the backlog of repairs, this is likely to have come at the expense of investing in new equipment and facilities to improve the experience of patients. While this approach shows Trusts are rightly prioritising immediate concerns about safety, they are increasingly unable to take a longer term, strategic approach to investment. 

 

"Trusts will have had to delay, cancel or rethink capital investment because this funding is constrained across the NHS. Underinvestment in the NHS estate is a false economy. For too long capital budgets have been used to prop up day-to-day spending. This approach is unsustainable. 

 

"The ongoing review of NHS capital spending needs to produce a strategy for adequate investment that moves away from the current approach of piecemeal funding interventions."

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