The health secretary’s top property adviser has warned the Government not to waste extra funding on maintaining “decrepit old buildings”.
Sir Robert Naylor, national advisor for NHS property and estates, also told an audience at the Health+Care show in London on Wednesday, that it was crucial the NHS avoid repeating the spending mistakes of the Blair government.
”What we need to ensure is that we don’t make the same mistakes that we made during the Blair government and simply pour that money into increasing salaries of staff or into new nice things to do or have,” he said.
”Blair’s government wanted money for reform and that’s got to be the mantra for this government as well but we’ve got to use this money in a much more efficient and effective way.”
Sir Robert was commenting on Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement, earlier this month, that the NHS would get a real terms average increase of 3.4 per cent in NHS funding over the next five years.
Sir Robert said any additional funding should not be wasted on propping up “decrepit old buildings”.
”There is one trust… that has a backlog of maintenance approaching £1.4bn and it doesn’t have a strategy to do something about that and it’s not going to get that kind of capital injection. It’s got to find a better way of providing its services.”
Money should instead go on “radical reform” of primary care and closer integration with secondary services.
”Primary care was the jewel in the NHS from 1948 to about the turn of the millennium, but its no longer fit for purpose,” he said.
He also singled out technology as a priority, including developing systems designed for the UK, rather than US healthcare system.
”Technology is the answer to many of these questions.”
HSJ understands that talks with Treasury about a separate 10 year capital plan for the NHS are ongoing.