Responding to NHS Digital’s Estates Returns Information Collection data published today, Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“NHS staff are working harder than ever against an ever-growing demand for services.
“Behind the figures showing a sharp rise in the NHS maintenance backlog are trusts up and down the country struggling with inadequate, inappropriate wards, hospitals and equipment.
“This maintenance backlog combined with underinvestment over many years in infrastructure, IT and tech more generally in hospitals presents a barrier to what is possible to transform care and ensure the safety of patients.
“The government’s recent pledges to invest in capital are welcome but we should be under no illusion – they are woefully short of what is required. We need a co-ordinated, long-term programme of capital investment and key decisions about where the money is spent should be devolved to local systems rather than subject to national and indeed sometimes political determination.”