NHS gets funding green light for new buildings, wards and beds

Forty NHS hospitals and community services will get £760 million to modernise and transform their buildings and services in the year of the NHS’s 70th birthday

The funding was announced today by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Jeremy Hunt. It is the biggest investment of its kind in the NHS in over 10 years. The NHS will spend the money on programmes to meet local demand, such as new urgent care centres and refurbishing mental health facilities.

The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin sustainability and transformation partnership (STP) will receive £300 million to transform local hospital services. It proposes to use the funding to develop an emergency care site and a separate planned care site, with 24-hour urgent care centres at both sites.

The remainder of the money will be awarded to 39 smaller projects, including:

• £6 million to upgrade services of 8 trusts across Yorkshire
• £8 million for a new health and wellbeing centre to join up local NHS services in Kent
• £13 million for 2 new urgent care centres in Newton Abbot and Torquay, and refurbishment of Torbay Hospital’s A&E department
• several million pounds for local NHS services in London, including one project worth up to £11 million

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."

The government is also releasing £150 million to support the NHS’s work to become more efficient. This additional money will be used to:

• improve the use of a digital programme that helps the NHS use its workforce better
• enable more efficient use of energy in hospitals, which could save the NHS £12 million a year in the first 3 years
• improve pharmacy IT and administration systems to reduce medication errors and improve patient safety