Hancock announces £1bn of extra funding for upgrades to NHS facilities

An extra £963m of funding for 75 projects to improve health facilities across the NHS has been announced by Matt Hancock, with mental health and integrated care services amongst those receiving upgrades.

As part of the funding, the health secretary announced a multi-million pound eye care facility in London, a new emergency department in Walsall, and major expansions of mental health facilities in Newcastle, Gateshead and Liverpool.

With a total of 75 projects, almost £800m of the funding will go to projects outside of London “in order to improve access to care across the country.”

The government says the investment comes ahead of the launch of the government’s long-term plan for the NHS, which will see its budget increased by £20.5bn every year by 2023-24.

The health secretary commented: “We want even more patients to receive world-class care in world-class NHS facilities and this near billion-pound boost – one of the most substantial capital funding commitments ever made – means that the NHS can do just that for years to come.

“This will not only support dedicated staff through the redevelopment and modernisation of buildings, but it will allow additional services to launch for the first time, improving patients’ access to care in their local area as part of our long-term plan for the NHS.”

The money will fund upgrades to NHS facilities across England, which will see more people treated and more done to prevent ill-health.

The government also said that the UK’s exit from the EU had helped with the investment as the money previously sent to the EU can now be invested in more domestic priorities including the NHS. However, the leading economists at the IFS argue that Brexit will not give the government sufficient extra funds.

Theresa May promised in March to publish a “sustainable long-term plan” for the NHS this year, and in June she set out the five-year plan, with focus on cancer care, integration of social care, and improved to mental health services.

Top image:  David Mirzoeff via PA Wire


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