• NHS capital spending, intended for long-term investments such as buildings and equipment, has fallen for the third year in a row.
  • This is due to transfers from the capital budget to the resource budget to deal with day-to-day financial pressures.
  • Watch our short video explaining what capital spending is, and why it matters.
Chart showing the department of health's capital spend 2016 to 2017
caption caption caption
attribution

Capital spending in the NHS is money used for long-term investments such as buildings, technology, and equipment.

The Department of Health accounts confirmed that for the third year in a row, capital spending has been reduced by transferring money to deal with day-to-day spending. £1.2bn was transferred from capital to day-to-day spending this year, following smaller transfers for the last two years. 

This means that capital spending in the NHS has fallen by more than 20% in real terms over the last three years. Without access to sufficient capital funding, the NHS now has an estimated £5bn backlog maintenance bill.   

More on capital spending

Briefing

Failing to capitalise

March 2019
Briefing

A report outlining how short-term thinking has resulted in years of inadequate capital spending for...

Video

Watch: capital spending on health care in England explained

Video

Watch our short video explaining capital spending on health care in England, including what it is...

You might also like...

Press release

This Budget must protect those most at risk from the pandemic and its financial consequences

Press release

Comment from the Health Foundation ahead of next week's Budget.

Event

Webinar: The government Spending Review

Event

Catch up on this Health Foundation webinar, analysing the key headlines from the government's...

Consultation response

Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care

Consultation response

Health Foundation response to the Health and Social Care Committee on the need for a comprehensive...

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

The UK’s COVID-19 vaccination programme has made an impressive start, with around 30% of the population given their… https://t.co/QcvSWv4xUb

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more