UK hospitals left ‘crumbling’, Labour claim

UK hospitals left ‘crumbling’, Labour claim

The Tories have been accused of performing “smash and grab raids” on NHS capital budgets to leave hospitals “crumbling”.

Labour said nearly £4.3 bn (€4.7bn) has been stripped from the funds used to repair hospitals and buy equipment since 2014.

The Department of Health said more money is to be ploughed into the health service and buildings are being modernised.

Labour, citing House of Commons research, said capital budgets had been reduced dramatically since 2014/15.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Tory smash and grab raids on NHS capital budgets have now meant over £4 billion cuts leaving our hospitals crumbling with ceilings falling in, sewage pipes bursting and diagnostic waiting times the worst in a decade.”

In recent years it is understood that funding has been transferred from the capital budget to support day-to-day services for patients.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokeswoman said: “Thanks to our record funding increase the NHS will get an extra £33.9 billion every year by 2023/24 and the Prime Minister has been clear that we are committed to investing in the NHS and making it fit for the future.

“We’ve supported 150 local projects with £2.4 billion to modernise NHS buildings and frontline services across the country since 2017, and we have said we will consider proposals from the NHS for more capital to support their long-term plan.”

- Press Association

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