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Publication, Part of

Estates Returns Information Collection - Summary page and dataset for ERIC 2020/21

Official statistics, Other reports and statistics


These are the results from the 2020/21 Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC), a mandatory collection for all NHS trusts including Ambulance trusts. It comprises information relating to the costs of providing and maintaining the NHS Estate including buildings, maintaining and equipping hospitals, the provision of services e.g. laundry and food, and the costs and consumption of utilities.

As part of our analysis of the 2020/21 data, an enhanced data quality assurance exercise was conducted in conjunction with NHS England/Improvement (the collection sponsors). Both organisations worked closely with trusts to clarify requirements and support accurate reporting.

Data users should note that several data fields are currently labelled as unreliable due to having changed definition since the previous reporting period, or due to being introduced relatively recently. Please see the introduction and data quality worksheets for more information.

NHS Digital has continued to work alongside stakeholders and data providers to improve data quality for the 2020/21 collection. This included an extensive data assurance exercise, and further data definition refinement. At national level, information is considered to be broadly comparable across the same type of data providers although statistics should still be treated with caution, especially where labelled as experimental. 

IMPORTANT: In August 2022, errors large enough to cause a significant change to national figures were reported for the Incineration (clinical waste) volume, Alternative treatment (clinical waste) volume and Offensive waste volume metrics. These errors were reported by two trusts, Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (RRE) and University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation trust (RTG). We have revised affected reference tables (14; Site Level Data) in the ERIC report (.xls) and the site data (.csv) file as well as updating the Data Quality Statement. Previously reported errors for South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust (RYF) not causing significant national changes were also incorporated in the revised figures for these metrics. We  urge you to ensure you update with revised figures (from version 2 of these files) in any analyses or reports that make use of ERIC figures, and apologise for any inconvenience caused. 

Please ensure you use these statistics with reference to the Data Quality Statement. This will be updated should any errors be reported after publication.  The current version is number 4, published on the 1st September 2022.

For the period 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021, NHS organisations reported:

The total costs of running the NHS estate were £10.2 billion

This is a 4.8 per cent increase since 2019/20

The total energy usage from all energy sources across the NHS estate was 11.4 billion kWh

This is a 1.6 per cent increase since 2019/20

The total cost to eradicate backlog was £9.2 billion

This is a 2.2 per cent increase since 2019/20. This is also known as 'backlog maintenance' and is measure of how much would need to  be invested to restore a building to a certain state based on a state of assessed risk criteria. It does not include planned maintenance work (rather, it is work that should already have taken place).

The total cost for cleaning services was £1.1 billion

This is an increase of 5.0 per cent since 2019/20

The total cost of providing inpatient food was £0.6 billion

This figure cannot be compared with earlier figures due to a change in definition

Please note that any costs, capital and/or revenue related to Covid-19 incurred during the reporting year are not included in ERIC figures where they were allocated to a specific trust-wide Covid-19 budget. However, any additional costs allocated to pay and non-pay budgets in specific areas such as cleaning, waste and energy relating to Covid-19 were included where they could not be identified and removed.

Last edited: 9 November 2022 1:49 pm