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RCS response to extra £850 million in new funding for hospitals announced by Prime Minister

05 Aug 2019

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due to announce the 20 hospitals set to share £850 million of new funding to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment today. The Prime Minister will also confirm £1 billion of NHS capital spending, allowing existing upgrade programmes to proceed and tackling the most urgent infrastructure projects.

Professor Derek Alderson, President of the Royal College of Surgeons said,

“We welcome additional investment in hospitals, but today’s announcement is like an absent landlord saying he’ll mend the shower, but the broken toilet, damp walls and dodgy electrics will have to wait. 

The NHS maintenance backlog bill stands at £6 billion. Today we have £1 billion towards that, but the question is how long it will take for the money to reach the front line.  A recent Health Service Journal report found that only 3% of the £2.5 billion of capital funding announced and allocated by the government since 2017 has actually got through. Mr Johnson needs to remove a series of bureaucratic hurdles if he wants voters to see tangible improvements in the near future.

People living in Norfolk, the Wye Valley and the North Midlands will be pleased to see today the promise of new hospital beds, which will help reduce waiting times in those areas.  Today’s announcement of 236 extra beds in these hospitals is welcome. However, at least 3,000 beds are needed across the country. With a record 4.3 million people on the waiting list, the NHS deserves a comprehensive capital settlement, with investment for all areas, in the next spending review.”

Notes to editors

The Royal College of Surgeons of England is a professional membership organisation and registered charity, which exists to advance surgical standards and improve patient care.

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