More trusts are leasing rather than buying expensive equipment in a bid to save money, new figures reveal.

Last year saw the number of leasing tenders issued by the NHS increase by 28 per cent – from 219 to 280 – with the total value soaring by 68 per cent, according to research by Siemens Financial Services. The figures show finance managers are increasingly turning to leasing arrangements amid pressure on capital spending, said the firm, which arranges leasing deals.

Chris Wilkinson, head of sales for Siemens Financial Services’ public sector leasing department, said investing in the latest technology could help trusts boost health outcomes and increase efficiency.

Healthcare Financial Management Association national media officer Chris Calkin said increased VAT and ongoing low interest rates had increased the chance of leasing providing better value for money.

The former director of finance at University Hospital of North Staffordshire Trust said: “I’d expect trusts to always check whether leasing was better value for money than direct purchase before any capital purchase was signed off.”

He added: “I’d be concerned if trusts were using it if it wasn’t best value for money.” He said he had seen no evidence of that.