The Government have cut NHS building funding by £17.4 million over the last year and have been attacked by the Liberal Democrats for letting hospitals crumble. Norman Lamb has blasted the Government to ‘turning our hospitals into health risks’.
An NHS report released by NHS digital shows that while investment to reduce Backlog Maintenance has decreased by £17.4 million from the previous year the cost to eradicate High Risk Backlog increased 69.3% from £458.0 million to £775.5 million.
High risk is where repairs/replacement must be addressed with urgent priority in order to prevent catastrophic failure, major disruption to clinical services or deficiencies in safety liable to cause serious injury and/or prosecution
The Significant Risk Backlog increased by a whopping 47.6% in a single year from £1.1 billion to £1.6 billion.
Significant risk is where repairs/replacement require priority management and expenditure in the short term so as not to cause undue concern to statutory enforcement bodies or risk to healthcare delivery or safety
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Norman Lamb said: “Hospitals across the country are falling into a woeful state of disrepair. This is yet more evidence of the dire state of NHS finances, but the Health Secretary and Chancellor still refuse to act. This is a massive false economy which will cost more in the long term.
“Jeremy Hunt must, as a matter of urgency, bring together a cross party commission to look at how we can deliver the long term, sustainable investment the health and care system desperately needs”.