4 April 2016 |
The NHS repairs budget has been slashed by £1.1 billion in a cut that was not publicised in George Osborne's Budget last month, according to news reports.
The chancellor did not mention the cut in his Budget speech, and the 30 per cent decrease in funding was uncovered following a Labour-sponsored review of the Budget by the House of Commons Library.
The capital budget of the NHS is used to fund repairs and replace out-of-date or broken equipment. It was expected that the NHS would be allocated £4.8 billion to cover this area, but the Budget revealed the health service will only be receiving £3.7 billion of capital budget.
According to news reports, it will cost the NHS an estimated £4.3 billion to complete all outstanding maintenance work. This includes £458 million of repairs classified as "high-risk", which could endanger patients' lives and wellbeing if they are not repaired.
Serious issues classified as "high-risk" include leaking roofs and out-of-date scanners.
A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "This government is investing £10 billion in the NHS's own plan for the future and we've made almost £4 billion available for capital projects this year which local trusts can apply for to undertake maintenance or building projects."