The pledge by UK government to construct 40 new hospitals by the end of this decade has taken a hit due to inflation, reported Financial Times.

Officials are currently discussing on the projects that can be delayed as the NHS budget is facing a shortfall of nearly £2bn by 2027/8.

Just as chancellor Jeremy Hunt is preparing for the budget to be presented on 15 March, people close to the process said both the Health department and the Treasury have had tough talks on how to fund the new hospital build programme, reported the publication.

Due to capital crunch, some of the 40 hospital projects are likely to be shelved, especially as there is a requirement to urgently fix five hospitals with a roof collapse risk.

The budget of Health department is expected to increase from £11.2bn in 2022-23 to around £12.6bn in 2024-25 before becoming flat for a period of three years.

The funding for the new hospital build programme comes from the budget of Health department.

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However, with inflation touching its peak level in decades, officials believe this will lead to a shortfall of nearly £2bn in the budget by 2027/8.

Health officials are struggling with surging construction costs and several other requirements of priority, including fixing roofs of some hospitals that are at risk of collapse.

This capital shortfall for the hospital programme is part of a wider pressure on spending across several projects, right from social housing, road, rail, defence, energy and schools, reported the publication.