The Real Cost of the £10bn Maintenance Backlog across NHS England

The 2022 NHS Digital ERIC report shows the cost to NHS England to eradicate the huge backlog of repairs to its estate is a staggering £10.2bn. However, there is a concerning lack of funds available to tackle this backlog of repairs, with only £1.4bn of investment available across the Trusts. This level of investment still falls short of the high-risk maintenance backlog which currently sits at £1.8bn.

There are 22 NHS Trusts in England with an overall backlog of repairs costing above £100m, but of these, only West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has the funds available for these critical repairs. These 22 Trusts equate to half of the £10.2bn costsNHS maintenance backlog ERIC report - ELIAS helps

This backlog of maintenance is deeply concerning, but even more alarming is the rate at which the repairs bill continues to grow due, and the impact this has on patient care. Herein lies the real cost of poor facilities management across NHS England.

So what does this mean for NHS England and what are the implications on patient care?

This £10bn maintenance backlog is with no doubt a significant challenge for NHS England. Addressing these issues is essential to ensure patients receive safe, high-quality care in facilities that meet modern and compliant standards for infection control, safety, comfort, and well-being.

The challenge for Trusts is using the resources they have in the most focused and effective way, to generate the biggest impact.

The ERIC report breaks down the maintenance backlog by NHS Trust site and costed from high-risk, significant-risk, moderate-risk, and low-risk backlogs. The Trusts will need to prioritise high-impact repairs/sites and adopt relevant maintenance planning regimes accordingly.

The NHS in England should also consider the use of technology to improve efficiency. It is here that REAMS’ ELIAS solution can truly benefit NHS England.

REAMS’ ELIAS solution is not a CAFM solution but as an asset management application can help the NHS maintenance backlog in several ways:

  1. Asset management: ELIAS provides a comprehensive asset management system that allows for real-time monitoring, and management of equipment and facilities. This can help prevent equipment failure and reduce the need for reactive maintenance.
  2. Predictive maintenance: ELIAS uses data analytics and machine learning algorithms to predict equipment failures before they occur. This can help prioritise maintenance tasks and prevent downtime due to equipment failure.
  3. Resource optimisation: ELIAS can optimise maintenance schedules and resource allocation, reducing downtime and increasing the efficiency of maintenance operations.
  4. Data integration: ELIAS can integrate with existing CAFM systems to provide a complete view of the asset lifecycle and enable better decision-making.

By implementing ELIAS, the NHS can improve the management and maintenance of its assets, reducing the need for reactive maintenance and minimising downtime. This can help address the current NHS maintenance backlog, allows the Trust to work more collaboratively with its supply chain for capital expenditure and forward maintenance planning, thus improving patient care, safety, experience, and well-being.

REAMS can also use drone technology during a verification stage which can take thermal imagery of the Trust’s sites. A digital twin can then be created to identify where heat is being lost, if there is water under roof membranes, external electrical issues, failed windows, and more. The operators can then identify the priority areas for improvements or repairs of the building fabric. This imagery is then stored within ELIAS and provides real-time data for forward maintenance planning.

REAMS has partnered with 11 NHS Trusts over the past 12 months alone, delivering asset verification and condition surveys with our proprietary ELIAS solution, covering 1,000,000 m2 GIA.  This has helped the Trusts to improve their data collection processes and provided powerful and enriched data analytics for forward maintenance planning.

Use ELIAS to improve your 6 facet surveys and estates code compliance. Book your demo with the team today.