NHS capital spending falls for third year in a row

31 July 2017

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  • 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.
Chart showing the department of health's capital spend 2016 to 2017

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.   

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