COVID-19 has underlined the need to rebuild our NHS

30 June 2020

COVID-19 has underlined the need to rebuild our NHS


Speaking ahead of the prime minister’s announcement on capital spending, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:

“We welcome the government’s recognition of the need to ‘bring forward’ funding for capital projects in the NHS, though we look forward to seeing the detail.

“Our recent #RebuildOurNHS campaign highlighted the way capital spending on vital infrastructure including buildings, scanners, and community rehabilitation facilities has slipped back year after year.

“It also showed the positive impact that a properly funded and well designed system of capital funding would have.

“The coronavirus pandemic has underlined the urgency of updating and modernising the NHS estate to provide clean safe therapeutic environments for patients and for staff.

“So it is good to hear the prime minister return to this theme, and in particular his emphasis on eradicating mental health dormitories.

“However, it is vital to keep sight of the scale of this challenge.

“For example, the backlog maintenance bill for the NHS now stands at £6.5bn.

“What trust leaders need is a multi-year capital budget, bringing expenditure into line with comparable economies, that allows them to plan for the future. This should be part of a proper spending review process encompassing other vital and long-overlooked issues including education and training and public health.

“And they need a better allocation system so capital funding gets through to where it’s needed most.”



We need a swift response to local COVID-19 outbreaks


Responding to the local lockdown in Leicester, Saffron Cordery said:

“The tightening of restrictions in Leicester is a harsh reminder that COVID-19 remains a serious threat.

“There can be no room for complacency.

“It is quite possible that we will see further local spikes in cases in the coming months.

“It is vital that we see a quick, decisive response, which means ensuring that local teams have access to the information and support they need.

“Alongside that we need regular, routine testing for health and care staff as part of a clear test and trace strategy that’s been too long coming.

“Ideally the NHS would regularly test all staff and patients, irrespective of whether they showed symptoms or not.

“The medical and scientific advice is that regular testing is needed at least twice a week to be effective. But there is currently insufficient testing capacity to achieve this.”

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