NHS Providers responds to prime minister's announcement of hospital building programme
29 September 2019
- Prime minister Boris Johnson has announced a new health infrastructure plan.
- As part of the plan, 40 new hospitals will be built across England over the next decade.
- Six of the hospital builds are getting the full go-ahead today, and a further twenty one new build projects (consisting of thirty four new hospitals in total) are receiving seed funding to kick start their schemes.
- The package includes £200m to replace MRI, CT scanners and breast cancer screening equipment.
- The Department of Health and Social Care will receive a new multi-year capital settlement at the next capital review.
Responding to the announcement, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson said:
“We have led calls for more capital funding to rebuild our NHS so we welcome this significant and important new commitment.
We have led calls for more capital funding to rebuild our NHS so we welcome this significant and important new commitment.
“The new £3bn that’s been committed for 2020-25 will be particularly good news for the patients and staff in the six acute hospitals that will directly benefit. We welcome the government’s intention to fund a further 21 schemes between 2025 and 2030 and the £100m for those organisations to start work on developing those projects, noting that the funding to actually compete those schemes remains to be allocated. We also welcome the extra £200m for scanning and diagnostic equipment.
“The NHS has been starved of capital since 2010. There’s a £6bn maintenance backlog, £3bn of it safety critical. It’s not just these six hospitals who have crumbling, outdated, infrastructure - community and mental health trusts, ambulance services and other hospitals across the country have equally pressing needs. We also need increased capital spending to support changes in the way care is delivered, including in IT and digital, to deliver the new NHS long term plan.
It’s not just these six hospitals who have crumbling, outdated, infrastructure - community and mental health trusts, ambulance services and other hospitals across the country have equally pressing needs.
“The NHS spends around £6bn capital a year. To catch up after a decade of capital squeeze and to meet the NHS’s needs, we believe that budget needs to double over the next 5-10 years. That would restore NHS capital spending to the levels of other comparable countries, ensuring safe care for patients and a better working environment for staff. Whilst the extra £3bn spread over the next 5 years – an average 10% annual increase - is an important and valuable step, there’s still a long way to go.
“We will continue to call for a full multi-year capital settlement for the NHS that ensures all types of trusts across the country can access the capital they need. The NHS also needs a sustainable and transparent approach to prioritising NHS capital, with appropriate local decision making to ensure the money gets to where the needs are greatest.”