Estates data reveals billions of pounds worth of maintenance backlog within NHS trusts

Widespread investment needed to bring building stock up to scratch

Opportunities for construction projects are expected to follow the release of the latest NHS Estates Data, which reveals a continuing backlog of building works is desperately needed.

The total cost of repairing high-risk estates backlog within the NHS is put at £775.5m. Significant-risk work is worth £1.56billion, works that pose a moderate risk are worth £1.51billion, and low-risk work is estimated at £1.11billion.

After years of underinvestment in poorly-shaped infrastructure, this tells you what's falling apart, or, more precisely, how much it will cost to put it back together again

All this needs to be carried out to ensure buildings in which healthcare services are delivered are safe and fit for purpose.

Commenting on the findings, Christopher Shaw, senior director at Medical Architecture and chairman of Architects for Health, said: “This makes an interesting read.

“There is an astonishing amount of information collated here on buildings, utilisation, energy performance, and facility management.

“After years of underinvestment in poorly-shaped infrastructure, this tells you what's falling apart, or, more precisely, how much it will cost to put it back together again.”

But he added: “We have to stop thinking about ‘backlog’, which implies getting back to where we were. In most cases the NHS needs completely different infrastructure.”

And in a Linked In debate, Conor Ellis, head of health at Citrica, added: “It’s an interesting read, as ever.

“High-risk backlog is now predictably heading upwards, as is significant risk.

We know there's little capital, and a rejection nationally of PFI in health, so the question remains where is the future investment going to come from to achieve the transformation projects?

“We know there's little capital, and a rejection nationally of PFI in health, so the question remains where is the future investment going to come from to achieve the transformation projects?

“One cannot easily modernise without good access to IT and better and more-modern facilities.

“Sure, there's lots of clinical change and better resource utilisation and integration of services. Much, though, depends on having facilities that are fit for purpose on order to speed up turnover and provide a better patient, research, and staff environment.”

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