Skip to main content

Publication, Part of

Estates Returns Information Collection, England, 2017-18

Official statistics, Other reports and statistics


These are the results from the 2017/18 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.

An extended data quality assurance exercise was conducted in conjunction with NHS Improvement as part of our analysis of the 2017/18 data. Both organisations worked closely with trusts to clarify requirements and support accurate reporting. A compiled list of trust provided comments and responses is included in this release (please see the 'Trust provided validation comments' workbook).

Users should note that many data fields are currently labelled as unreliable due to having changed definitions since the previous reporting period, or due to being new in 2017/18. Please see the introduction and data quality worksheets in the report for more information.

Key Facts

NHS Digital has continued to work alongside stakeholders and data providers to improve data quality for the 2017/18 collection, particularly in the area of data definition refinement. Regular clarifications were issued to all data providers in response to queries raised during the course of the collection. Such clarifications are likely to have more of an impact at local level and are likely to be reflected in the data reports. 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 unreliable.

For the period 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018, NHS organisations reported:

◦ The total costs of running the NHS estate were £8.8 billion.

◦ The total energy usage from all energy sources across the NHS estate amounted to 11.5 billion kWh.

◦ The total cost to eradicate backlog was £6.0 billion. 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 £1.0 billion.

◦ The total cost of providing inpatient food was £0.6 billion.

Please note: Following publication we were advised of some errors in reported data by a number of trusts. Particularly affected are the unserved meals data fields, where the new estimated England totals are estimated to be 108,661kg. Taking the updated figures provided by into account, the England totals for unserved meals (Table 19 of the data report) are estimated to be 15,802kg for starters, 73,566kg for mains and 19,293kg for desserts (rather than 31,708, 178,718 and 62,841 respectively). However, no data will be amended as these measures are new and experimental and we remind users to treat them with caution.

Also of importance to note is an issue identified in early 2019, whereby we became aware that a number of trusts had mistakenly used an accountancy convention to report profits as negative values in the income fields. As well as a large effect on the trust figures, there was a notable effect on the national figures (a correction would increase these by an estimated 12.9% for staff car parking, and 5.3% for patient car parking).

Please see the data quality report, which provides further information (see 'Known Issues' section).

Any further issues of a minor nature will be updated in the data quality statement to include details - please refer to this whenever you use ERIC data to ensure you are using the latest version and figures. Currently this is version 12, published on 17 October 2019.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Last edited: 17 October 2019 9:35 am