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Thursday, 17 October

NHS Funding - Bo Diddley? Or Bodes Well?

An artist's impression of the development at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust site in Truro.

Boris Johnson will give the NHS £1.8 billion, with much earmarked for new build and maintenance, yet the PM has also been accused of diddling the books by saying this is extra when the sums include already allocated funding.

Visiting a Lincolnshire hospital on Monday August 5, Johnson said 20 hospitals are set to share £850 million of new funding to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment.

The Prime Minister also confirmed a £1 billion boost to NHS capital spending, allowing existing upgrade programmes to proceed and tackling the most urgent infrastructure projects.

However, some observers have claimed that £6.7 billion had already been allocated in many of these respects and questioned whether the figures quoted was really new investment.

When asked, Prime Minister Johnson categorically stated: "I want to stress this is new money." He continued:  "This treasured institution truly showcases the very best of Britain. That’s why I made it my immediate task to make sure frontline services have the funding they need. Today I’m delivering on this promise with a £1.8 billion cash injection – meaning more beds, new wards and extra life-saving."

A spokesperson from the health ministry said: "The £1.8 billion funding is in addition to the extra £33.9 billion, in cash terms, the NHS is set to receive every year by 2023/24 through the Long Term Plan agreed last year. Over £1 billion of this will be spent this year, meaning an annual increase in the NHS’s capital budget of 30%."

 

Building

20 hospitals will get funding to build new facilities. The Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid said: "This £1.8 billion for frontline services will not just go towards better equipment and technology but important upgrades of hospitals across the country.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: "On top of the extra £33.9 billion a year we are giving the NHS, today we are making a downpayment for the future of NHS buildings and facilities, with a £1.8 billion fund to revitalise our hospitals and immediate funding for bigger wards, better mental health units, and state of the art children’s hospitals in areas that need them the most."

 

Scratching the surface

In response, Ben Gershlick, Senior Economist at the Health Foundation, said:  "The confirmation of a short-term boost to capital funding in England is welcome recognition of the urgent need for investment in the NHS’s creaking infrastructure.

"It is positive that the 20 upgrade projects announced are not just for hospitals but decisions about what upgrades to prioritise need to be informed by where improvements are most urgently needed. 

 "Given the scale of underinvestment in NHS buildings, this level of funding will only scratch the surface. There is a £6 billion maintenance backlog in trusts alone, of which over £3 billion is 'high or significant risk', meaning that it is likely to be causing major disruption to services."

 

The 20 hospitals set to be upgraded, at a cost of £850 million, include:

  • Luton & Dunstable University Hospital NHS FT – £99.5 million for a new block in Luton to provide critical and intensive care, as well as a delivery suite and operating theatres.

  • Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS FT – £69.7 million to provide Diagnostic and Assessment Centres in Norwich.

  • Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn to aid rapid diagnosis and assessment of cancer and non-cancerous disease.

  • Norfolk and Suffolk NHS FT – £40 million to build 4 new hospital wards in Norwich, providing 80 beds.

  • NHS South Norfolk CCG – £25.2 million to develop and improve primary care services in South Norfolk.

  • University Hospitals Birmingham – £97.1 million to provide a new purpose built hospital facility in Birmingham, replacing outdated outpatient, treatment and diagnostic accommodation.

  • United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust – £21.3 million to improve patient flow in Boston by developing urgent and emergency care zones in A&E.

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust – £23.6 million to provide new hospital wards in Hereford, providing 72 beds.

  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust – £17.6 million to create 3 new modern wards to improve capacity and patient flow in Stoke, delivering approximately 84 beds for this winter.

  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge CCGs and North East London NHS Foundation Trust – £17 million to develop a new health and wellbeing hub in North East London.

  • Croydon Health Services NHS Trust – £12.7 million to extend and refurbish critical care units at the Croydon University Hospital, Croydon.

  • South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System – £57.5 million for primary Care investment across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.

  • The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – £41.7 million to improve Paediatric Cardiac Services in the North East.

  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – £12 million to provide a single Laboratory Information Management System across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, covering all pathology disciplines.

  • Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust – £72.3 million to build a new adult mental health inpatient unit in Manchester.

  • Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust – £33 million to provide a new 40 bed low secure unit for people with learning disabilities.

  • Stockport NHS FT – £30.6 million to provide a new Emergency Care Campus Development at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, incorporating an Urgent Treatment Centre, GP assessment unit and Planned Investigation Unit.

  • NHS Wirral CCG – £18 million to improve patient flow in Wirral by improving access via the Urgent Treatment Centre.

  • Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust – £16.3 million to provide Emergency and urgent care facilities at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-under-Lyne.

  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust – £48 million to redesign acute services for Isle of Wight residents.

  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust – £99.9 million to build a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro.

The devolved administrations will receive additional Barnett funding in the normal way; indicative allocations are around £110 million for Wales, £180 million for Scotland and £60 million for Northern Ireland.

Picture: An artist's impression of the development at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust site in Truro.

Article written by Brian Shillibeer

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