Underfunded NHS needed £3 billlion “working capital loans” from government last year

The government had to lend cash-strapped hospitals a record £2.825bn in the last financial year so they could pay staff wages, energy bills and for drugs needed to treat patients.

The Department of Health was forced to provide emergency bailouts on an unprecedented scale to two-thirds of hospital trusts in the 2015-16 financial year because they were set to run out of money, the Guardian can reveal.

Trusts in England were also loaned a further £530m for building projects and for new equipment such as scanners, bringing the total amount of additional funding provided during the year to £3.36bn, official NHS figures show.

NHS hospitals borrowed record £2.8bn from government last year