The 20 hospitals in England due to receive an extra £850m funding for upgrades to outdated facilities and new equipment have been revealed.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will formally announce the plans – part of NHS spending pledges totalling £1.8bn – at a Lincolnshire hospital on Monday.
Projects the £850m will pay for include a new women and children’s hospital in Cornwall.
But a healthcare charity said the money risked being a “drop in the ocean”.
The funding pledge comes during a week of health policy announcements by the government, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock expected to announce pension changes aimed at ending staffing problems.
‘Extra life-saving equipment’
The £850m is to be spread out over five years, with the remaining £1bn intended to tackle a backlog of hospital upgrades this year.
It comes on top of an extra £20bn a year by 2023 announced by former prime minister Theresa May last year.
Ahead of his visit to Lincolnshire, Mr Johnson said the new money – less than 1% of the annual NHS budget – would mean “more beds, new wards, and extra life-saving equipment”.
“It’s time to face up to this challenge and make sure the NHS receives the funds it needs, to continue being the best healthcare service in the world,” he said.
Mr Johnson added that he was “determined to deliver” on the promises of the 2016 EU referendum, after criticism of the Vote Leave campaign’s claim that £350m a week was sent to the EU and could be spent on the NHS instead.
A vision for the government beyond Brexit?
Downing Street wants to persuade voters Mr Johnson’s vision for the country goes beyond delivering Brexit. But the domestic approach is intimately linked to the Leave vote.
His team think the referendum result was down to deep-rooted unhappiness in many communities, and they believe it’s essential they deliver solutions – not least regarding many people’s number one priority, healthcare.
Labour sees this announcement as window-dressing – a drop in the ocean which won’t fix years of cuts in the NHS.
But after a domestic spending blitz in his first fortnight, Mr Johnson has offered voters a taster of what he plans to do with power.
His team won’t entertain the idea of a general election before Brexit.
But with the spending taps back on, many think the new prime minister may well be tempted to go to the country sooner rather than later.
Responding to the funding announcement, the Health Foundation said “years of under-investment in the NHS’s infrastructure means this extra money risks being little more than a drop in the ocean”.
Ben Gershlick, from the charity, added that NHS facilities in England were “in major disrepair”, with a £6bn maintenance backlog.
Labour’s shadow health secretary, Jonathan Ashworth, said the government’s willingness to leave the EU without a deal would be “a catastrophe” for the NHS, especially as the expected 31 October deadline coincides with the pressures of winter.
“It will put lives at risk. That is the gamble that Boris Johnson is taking this October, November,” Mr Ashworth told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday.
The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, said the money was a “significant start” to “much needed capital investment”.
“The concrete steps being set out this week will mean investment flows directly to frontline services, providing new clinics and wards,” he added.
Later this week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock is also expected to announce changes to the NHS pension scheme after senior doctors said new rules meant they could not afford to work extra shifts to tackle waiting lists.
One hospital said the rule change, which means “punitive” taxes for doctors who take additional shifts and exceed the limit for pensions contributions, was the equivalent of losing 60 consultants.
Mr Johnson has previously pledged to resolve the problem.
The 20 NHS trusts receiving funding for hospital upgrades are:
• Luton & Dunstable University Hospital – £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 – £69.7 million to provide diagnostic and assessment centres in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Kings Lynn for cancer and non-cancerous disease
• Norfolk and Suffolk – £40 million to build four new hospital wards in Norwich, providing 80 beds
• South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group – £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 replacing outdated outpatient, treatment and diagnostic accommodation
• United Lincolnshire Hospitals – £21.3 million to develop urgent and emergency care zones in A&E
• Wye Valley – £23.6 million to provide new hospital wards in Hereford, providing 72 beds
• University Hospitals of North Midlands – £17.6 million to three new modern wards to improve capacity in Stoke, delivering approximately 84 beds for this winter
• Barking, Havering and Redbridge CCGs and North East London – £17 million to develop a new health and wellbeing hub in north east London
• Croydon Health Services – £12.7 million to extend and refurbish critical care units at the Croydon University Hospital
• South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System – £57.5 million for primary care investment across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw
• The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals – £41.7 million to improve paediatric cardiac services in the north east
• Leeds Teaching Hospitals – £12 million to provide a single laboratory information management system across West Yorkshire and Harrogate, covering all pathology disciplines
• Greater Manchester Mental Health – £72.3 million to build a new adult mental health inpatient unit in Manchester
• Mersey Care – £33 million to provide a new 40-bed low secure unit for people with learning disabilities
• Stockport – £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
• Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group – £18 million to improve patient flow by improving access via the urgent treatment centre
• Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care – £16.3 million to provide emergency and urgent care facilities at Tameside General Hospital in Ashton-under-Lyne
• Isle of Wight – £48 million to redesign acute services for Isle of Wight residents
• Royal Cornwall Hospitals – £99.9 million to build a new women’s and children’s hospital in Truro
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