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05.08.19

NHS Providers welcome capital investment announcement

NHS Providers have welcomed capital investment into the healthcare service, but have warned that to ensure long-term improvements can be delivered this funding must continue.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced over the weekend an additional one-off cash boost of £1.8bn for NHS hospitals in England.

Responding to the announcement, NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “The longest and deepest financial squeeze in NHS history and rapidly rising demand for health care have left NHS frontline staff with a series of challenges they’re struggling to meet, despite working flat out.

“Those challenges include a crumbling estate, ageing equipment, 100,000 staff vacancies, pension rules that penalise many staff who work extra hours and a social care system in crisis. Taken together, this is leading to lengthening waiting lists and poorer patient care, despite the NHS treating 5% more patients this year than last.

READ MORE: NHS Providers head of policy calls for 'culture shift within NHS' to implement Patient Safety Strategy

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“NHS frontline leaders will therefore welcome the new Government’s commitment to tackle the two most urgent problems – capital and pensions – with pace and energy, something that’s previously been lacking. Today’s announcement is a good start but, given how much lost ground needs to be made up, it is only a start.

“Nine years of austerity and £4.3bn of capital funding diverted to keep day to day NHS spending in balance have created a £6bn maintenance backlog, £3bn of it safety critical. And that’s before what’s needed to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan, upgrade the NHS estate and harness new digital technologies.

“So whilst trust leaders will welcome today’s extra new £1.8bn of capital investment, it can only be the first down payment on a consistent, longer term, approach to rebuilding the NHS and creating the 21st century infrastructure the NHS requires. Frontline NHS leaders will also look forward to co-designing the much needed new approach to managing and allocating NHS capital. 

“These will be regarded as promising first steps for a new Government’s first 100 days, more will be needed on both issues and on the wider long term workforce and social care problems the NHS is facing.”

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