Overall capital expenditure by the national health service has increased from around £1.1 billion in 1997-98 to around £5.5 billion in 2007-08. These record levels of investment mean that a quarter of the estate occupied by NHS trusts has been replaced since 1997 and the proportion of the estate that predates the establishment of the NHS itself has fallen from 50 per cent. in 1997-98 to 20 per cent. today.
NHS investment to reduce backlog maintenance will be prioritised locally based on risk assessment, reconfiguration planning and available resources. The latest figures, provided by trusts themselves, indicate that the total backlog maintenance for the NHS was £3.7 billion in 2006-07. While levels of backlog maintenance vary across the NHS, it is estimated that around 75 per cent. of the total is concentrated in 20 per cent. of organisations.
The majority of backlog relates to low priority work which trusts will undertake through maintenance programmes. Where higher risks are present, work will be undertaken as a priority.