NHS Gets Funding Green Light for New Buildings, Wards and Beds

28 March 2018 9:42am

Press Release from Department of Health and Social Care:

£760 million of capital funding, announced at Autumn Budget, is being allocated to the NHS to trigger an unprecedented acceleration of service modernisation and transformation.

Forty NHS hospitals and community services will receive funding for plans worth £760 million to modernise and transform their buildings and services in the year of the NHS’s 70th birthday.

The capital funding announced today by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt, is the single biggest injection of its kind in the NHS in over a decade, and will be spent by the NHS on programmes to meet local demand, such as new urgent care centres and refurbishing mental health facilities.

As part of the Government’s commitment to transform the NHS to meet the needs of the growing and ageing population, the Secretary of State is also giving the green light to the first major remodelling project since the introduction of NHS England’s Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) in 2015.

Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin STP will receive funding to support a £300 million scheme to transform local hospital services. The proposal will see the development of an Emergency Care site and a separate Planned Care site with 24 hour urgent care centres at both sites, subject to consultation.

The remainder of the money will be awarded to 39 smaller projects, as part of the Government’s commitment to securing a sustainable future for the NHS. Examples of projects being funded include: 

  • Eight trusts across Yorkshire will upgrade services with up to £6 million of investment.
  • Local NHS services in Kent will become more joined-up as a brand new £8 million Health and Wellbeing centre is built.
  • £13 million for two new Urgent Care Centres in Newton Abbot and Torquay, and a major refurbishment of Torbay Hospital’s existing A&E department.
  • Millions of pounds into local NHS services in London, including one project worth up to £11 million where patients can benefit from their GP, community and mental health services all in one place.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt said:

“As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, we are backing it with one of the largest capital programmes in NHS history.  As well as a whole new emergency care development in Shropshire, we are backing local NHS services with new buildings, beds and wards so that staff who have been working incredibly hard over winter can have confidence we are expanding capacity for the future.

“Further major projects are also under consideration across the country and we intend to announce one large scale scheme the size of the Shrewsbury and Telford plan every year going forward based on high quality plans coming forward from local NHS leaders.”

Simon Stevens NHS England CEO, said: "These significant investments in local areas will turbo charge much-needed improvements for patients and the public including better A&E facilities, children and adult mental health services, diagnostics and general practice.  While rightly acknowledging the NHS's past in its 70th year, it's critical to build for the future and to develop the new more joined up and interconnected services people will need."

Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement said: “As part of helping the NHS meet the challenge of dealing with increasing demand from an ageing population we need to ensure we’re using the money given to us in the best way possible. But we also must recognise that the NHS needs more money to transform it into a service fit for the future.  The NHS has been a world leader in innovation over the past 70 years. Today’s announcement will mean it can continue to offer better care to patients, in state-of-the-art facilities, for years to come.”

Whilst the Government is committed to backing the NHS with the funding it needs to deliver world-leading care, it is also clear about the need for the NHS to get the best value for taxpayers and to continue cutting back on wasteful spending.

That’s why the Government is also releasing a further £150 million to support the NHS’s work to become more efficient, which will:

  • Boost the use of e-rostering (a digital programme that assigns staff their shifts) to help the NHS use its workforce better.
  • Enable further energy efficiency changes to happen in hospitals, such as fitting LED lights and new combi boilers, which is expected to save the NHS £12 million a year after the first three years.
  • Help make improvements to pharmacy IT systems and E-Prescription and Medicines Administration systems, which will reduce medication errors and improve patient safety, whilst freeing up staff so they can spend more time with patients. These changes are expected to save the NHS £10 million a year after the first five years. 

Backed by the Department of Health and Social Care, STPs are groups of local NHS leaders and staff working with councils who arrange joined-up social care and other community health services. They look at the needs of patients and design service plans bespoke to the area, offering care that is closer to home and means fewer trips to the hospital.

Today’s £760 million investment in STPs is part of a £2.9 billion fund being made available to the NHS by Government from 2017 to 2023 to modernise facilities and improve patient care.