The cost of maintaining England's "crumbling" hospitals has surpassed one billion pounds according to data shared by ministers.

The NHS's annual Estates Returns Information Collection found that some £1,013,000,000 was spent on maintaining hospitals across England in the 2021/22 financial year.

This was up from £987 million in the previous financial year and up from £890 million in 2017/18.

The new information appears to show a dramatic increase in the backlog of maintenance work.

Sidmouth Herald: (PA) Opposition parties criticised the government for overseeing a 'crumbling' NHS(PA) Opposition parties criticised the government for overseeing a 'crumbling' NHS (Image: PA/UK Parliament)

READ MORE: Delete TikTok to protect personal data urges Tory MP

Labour criticises the government for overseeing a 'crumbling' NHS

Opposition parties like Labour criticised the government for overseeing what it called a "crumbling" NHS estate with the party questioning the 2019 election pledge of 40 new hospitals.

Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting, who wrote to ministers requesting the data, said: “Rishi Sunak appears to have ditched the 40 new hospitals pledge, adding one more failure to the Conservatives’ record of overpromising and underdelivering.

“The Conservatives literally didn’t fix the hospital roof when the sun was shining and now the NHS is crumbling.

“Patients are paying the price for the Conservatives’ failure with longer waits, while taxpayers are paying more but getting less thanks to delays.”

Liberal Democrat health spokesperson and deputy leader, Daisy Cooper, added: “The Conservative Government is systematically failing our NHS. Across our country, too many NHS buildings which people rely on are life-expired or crumbling.

“Patients and staff are being let down and now the true extent of our run-down hospitals has been revealed.

“With hospitals crumbling, A&E waits soaring, and nurses being taken for granted by ministers, it’s clearer than ever that Britain will never trust the Conservative Party with the NHS again.”

Sidmouth Herald: (PA) Health Secretary says NHS needs 'fundamental shift'(PA) Health Secretary says NHS needs 'fundamental shift' (Image: PA)

Health Secretary says NHS needs 'a fundamental shift' amid huge increase in maintenance

When asked by the Conservative chair for the Health and Social Care Committee over "pretty significant delays" to the new hospital programme, the Health Secretary said there is “probably no issue that is raised more frequently with me by parliamentary colleagues”.

Adding that the NHS needs “a fundamental shift away from bespoke local designs by local chief execs to a more standardised, modular, modern method of construction approach” to ensure new hospitals are built quickly and to budget.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We have invested record sums to upgrade NHS buildings and facilities, so that trusts can continue to provide the best possible quality of care.

“We have committed to eradicate RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) from the NHS estate by 2035 and are protecting patient and staff safety in the interim period, including investing over £685 million to directly address urgent risks.

“We have invested £3.7 billion for the first four years of the New Hospital Programme and remain committed to all schemes that have been announced as part of it.

“We continue to work closely with trusts on their plans for new hospitals and are working through the recommendations for individual schemes.”