The Guardian has inaccurately attributed the claim that the Tories cut the NHS repair fund to Labour, but Labour only commissioned a report – from the independent House of Commons Library.
We may therefore accept these figures as accurate.
They also support David Laws’ claims about Tory underfunding of the NHS, of course.
Hospitals are facing a rising backlog of repairs and out-of-date equipment because NHS funds are being used to shore up frontline services.
The cost of outstanding maintenance work that hospitals in England need to do has reached £4.3bn, including £458m of “high-risk” repairs, which if left unaddressed could threaten patient safety. They include leaking roofs and out-of-date scanners.
At the same time the NHS’s capital budget, which pays for repairs and new equipment, has been cut by £1.1bn this year and the money used to hire staff and meet waiting time targets.
It was due to be £4.8bn but an analysis by the House of Commons Library, commissioned by Labour, found that the fine print of last week’s budget confirmed that it is now only £3.7bn.
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