Scotland’s Health Secretary has blamed the “twin challenges” of budget cuts from Westminster and soaring inflation for putting plans to build new hospitals and treatment centres on pause.

At least a dozen NHS construction projects have been delayed for up to two years.

SNP ministers have confirmed the Scottish Government is reviewing all of its capital spending projects amid the budget constraints.

The Scottish Government told health boards that no money was available for the NHS projects.

Ministers are prioritising essential maintenance issues for the existing estate and will bring forward a revised NHS infrastructure plan in the spring.

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Speaking in Holyrood, SNP Health Secretary Neil Gray pointed to the “twin challenge of a United Kingdom Government cut to our capital grant over the next five years and unprecedented levels of inflation”.

He added: “The 10% real-terms cut to our capital budget is the equivalent to a reduction of around £540 million a year by 2027-28 and a cumulative reduction of £1.6 billion over the period.

“Unfortunately, that has meant that all NHS capital projects, including the national treatment centre in Ayr, will be paused.

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“Our emphasis now has to be on addressing backlog maintenance and essential equipment replacement. All capital projects are now under review, and I expect the Deputy First Minister to set out the results of that review in the coming weeks.”

Last month, the Herald on Sunday revealed that Finance Secretary and Deputy First Minister Shona Robison warned that capital budget cuts from the UK Government would “impact our ability to invest in our schools, hospitals and affordable homes”.

A network of treatment centres was expected to provide at least 40,000 extra elective surgeries, diagnostics and other procedures a year by 2026.

The plans put on hold also include a new cancer centre and eye hospital in Edinburgh, upgrading the maternity ward at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness, a replacement hospital in Fort William, a new Monklands Hospital in Airdrie.

Speaking at Holyrood, Labour MSP Carol Mochan, said: “After 17 years of the Scottish National Party Government being in power, patients and staff alike are starting to get fed up with it deflecting blame and responsibility.

Read more: SNP urge Labour to boost capital spend as ministers brace for cuts

“NHS Ayrshire and Arran has already purchased the Carrick Glen site, which will now lie unused – all the while, patients in that health board area are suffering on long waiting lists and have less provision close to home because of long-term underfunding.

“Will the cabinet secretary set out a timescale for parliament to get the critical delivery of Ayr national treatment centre back on track, or will the people of Ayrshire just have to record this as yet another example of the SNP saying one thing and doing another? They need a timeframe.

In response, Mr Gray insisted that “the financial reality is that we are facing increased costs due to spiralling inflation”.

He added that the soaring inflation rate “has been driven, to a large extent, by the disastrous mini-budget from Truss and Kwarteng, and a budget that is diminishing by £1.6 billion over the coming years”.

Conservative MSP Sharon Dowey branded the delay to the centre as “unacceptable” as she hit out at the Scottish Government.

Raising the issue in Holyrood, the Tory MSP said: “Yet again we have another broken promise from the SNP and one that will have serious consequences for people in agony waiting for treatment on the NHS.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton said a “hard stop” had been placed on “much-needed projects”.

Pressing the Health Secretary on the issue, he said: “With the hard stop put on those treatment centres, what does he have to say on the impact that will have on his Government’s efforts to drive down waiting times?”

Mr Gray said: “In terms of the national treatment centres, they are going to be delivering an increased capacity of 20,000 elective surgery cases.”

But he conceded this was “not where we wanted to be”.