Twenty hospitals across England are set to benefit from a funding boost worth £850 million.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined plans for a cash injection of £1.8 billion at a hospital in Lincolnshire on Monday 5th August. The money will be split between hospital trusts all over the country. The funding pledge is part of a series of measures and policy announcements expected to be made by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, this week. In addition to adding more money to the hospital coffers, Mr Hancock is also expected to reveal plans to combat staffing shortages and to review the senior doctor’s pension scheme.
Under new guidelines that accompany the cash injection, selected hospitals will receive £850 million to spend over the next five years, with the government leaving £1 billion in reserve to tackle a backlog of work required to upgrade hospitals this year. The funding boost will be added to the extra £20 billion per year investment by the year 2023, which was confirmed by former Prime Minister, Theresa May, in 2018.
Speaking ahead of his visit to Lincolnshire, Mr Johnson stated that the money that has been made available for the 20 hospitals would result in “more beds, new wards and extra life-saving equipment.” Mr Johnson added that it was “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.” Mr Hancock backed the new Prime Minister, confirming in a TV interview that the NHS was Mr Johnson’s top priority.
News of the investment has been welcomed by some health experts and patient bodies, but many are sceptical and believe that the cash injection is far too small to make a significant difference, with one health charity labelling the boost as a “drop in the ocean.”
Examples of the trusts that will benefit from the funding include Luton & Dunstable University Hospital, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals, University Hospitals Birmingham, United Lincolnshire Hospitals, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Mersey Care and Greater Manchester Mental Health.