Health Minister visits New Hospital Programme schemes in North West

Health Minister visits New Hospital Programme schemes across the North West to mark progress, as part of commitment to building 40 new hospitals by 2030

  • Patients and staff in the North West will benefit from modern, standardised hospital designs and state of the art technology which will help to improve patient experience
  • The New Hospital Programme is now expected to be backed by over £20 billion of investment in hospital infrastructure, with six new hospital schemes in the North West

This week Health Minister Lord Markham visited three hospitals across the North West as part of a summer tour to discuss the government’s plans to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 with staff, patients and local leaders.

He saw first-hand how the new Leighton Hospital will implement clinical, digital, and environmental innovations to enable the trust to tackle inequalities and meet the needs of a growing and ageing population. Patients and staff will benefit from safe, state-of-the-art new facilities and improved care as Leighton Hospital is part of the government’s commitment to rebuild six hospitals in the region.

Patients and staff at Royal Preston Hospital will benefit from modern hospital designs, making use of the latest technology, digital innovation and sustainability to improve overall patient experience and provide a better working environment for staff. The government has provided over £11 million in funding to support the trusts in the progress of both hospitals to help find suitable locations that will meet the needs of staff and patients in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Finally, Lord Markham visited the new North Manchester Hospital site which will include a new acute hospital, mental health hospital and multi-storey car park as well as affordable homes and accommodation for hospital staff. Work has now completed on the new 980 space multi-storey car park and cycle hub in the project’s first major construction milestone.

In total, five new hospitals will be built in the North West by 2030, including North Manchester General Hospital and Leighton Hospital. The Northern Centre for Cancer Care and the Royal Liverpool hospital are already open to patients and the Greater Manchester Major Trauma Centre is due to open later this year. The government recently confirmed for the first time that the New Hospital Programme is expected to be backed by over £20 billion of investment in infrastructure.

Health Minister Lord Markham said:

"We are investing in new NHS facilities across the country so patients can access high quality care in state-of-the-art hospitals, both now and in the years to come.

"The North West will benefit from six new hospitals and this week I’ve been visiting some of the sites and speaking to patient, staff and local leaders across the region about the plans and progress. These will help to improve care and allow patients to be seen more quickly, which will help to cut waiting lists – one of the government’s top five priorities.

"In the long term, our new standardised design means we can rapidly replicate new hospitals across the country, helping to speed up construction and deliver on our commitment of 40 new hospitals by 2030."

The government has prioritised the rebuilding of some hospitals given the risks buildings have posed to patients and staff - the full extent of which has come to light since the programme was first announced in 2019. Therefore, the Lancashire and South Cumbria scheme will complete past 2030, though it will still be in construction by then. The government will keep the situation under review and do everything it can to accelerate the completion timeline of the hospitals impacted, if circumstances allow. The New Hospital Programme will continue to work closely with new and existing schemes on their plans to ensure they deliver for patients, staff and communities. With the addition of new schemes as well as wider capital investment the government is still on track to deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030.

Across the region, staff shared their experiences and discussed how the new hospitals will support the transformation of healthcare in the North West by improving the patient experience with new, high-quality environments as well as improving clinical outcomes with modern, fit-for-purpose theatres, wards, and diagnostic facilities to help cut waiting lists.

Making use of the latest technology, the new hospitals will have digital solutions included at the design stage which will help to reduce staff workloads and support working from any location, whilst improving the patient experience. The hospitals will also have ‘smart buildings’, which will collect and process data to optimise energy usage and contribute to the NHS’s sustainability goals.

By developing a national approach to delivering new hospitals, known as Hospital 2.0, they can be built more quickly and at a reduced cost, providing value for taxpayers. Patients and staff will benefit from a modern hospital design making use of the latest technology, digital innovation and sustainability to improve overall patient experience and provide a better working environment for staff. This will also put the NHS on a sustainable footing for the future.

Services will also benefit from the first ever NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which will deliver the biggest training expansion in NHS history and recruit and retain hundreds of thousands more staff over the next 15 years. This will be supported by over £2.4 billion in government funding.

Department of Health and Social Care
Lord Markham CBE