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Are Cuts to Capital Spending Putting Patient Safety at Risk?

Cuts to capital spending are causing England’s NHS trusts to fear for patient safety, trade association NHS Providers has revealed.

In order to comply with the Treasury’s 2019/20 spending rules, England’s trusts have found themselves in the unenviable position of having to compromise on investment when it is needed most. But with NHS infrastructure already stretched thin, some now argue that underinvestment carries with it serious implications for patient wellbeing.

For the uninitiated, capital expenditure refers to investment in goods and services that will be in use for over one year. This could be routine maintenance, specialist equipment or brand new vehicles, for example. Given that the capital spending of NHS trusts fell 21% between 2010/11 and 2017/18, it’s little surprise that some are beginning to feel the pinch.

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