NHS Confederation responds to the new research by the Liberal Democrats on NHS hospital buildings

Matthew Taylor responds to the new research by the Liberal Democrats on NHS hospital buildings

15 April 2024

Responding to the new research by the Liberal Democrats showing that more than 2,000 hospital buildings were built before the foundation of the NHS, Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:

“The state of hospital and NHS buildings has an impact on patient safety, the care people receive, and staff morale. These figures will unfortunately be no surprise to health leaders and their teams who work in these old buildings and who tell us that parts of their estate are barely fit for the 19th century, let alone the 21st.

“This decline stems from more than a decade of underinvestment, with the essential maintenance backlog swelling to £11.6 billion. To address this, we need to invest vital capital funding to repair the NHS’ crumbling estates as well as invest in the latest technology and equipment to provide the best care and environments we can for patients that are fit for a modern health service.

“With no further capital funding announced in the spring budget above what was already announced in the autumn statement, we fear that the deterioration of the NHS estate will continue. For the NHS to make the productivity and efficiency improvements needed to tackle the waiting list backlogs and recover performance, as well as ensuring that buildings are kept safe for staff and patients, it needs the right investment. This includes longer funding settlements so leaders can plan for the future, and a step away from short term thinking. This is why we are calling for an extra £6.4 billion a year in capital funding to start to address the repairs backlog and realise some of the innovative transformation projects which will directly improve care for patients.”