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Government pledges £2.8bn to build six hospitals

Shutterstock hospital corridor
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Ministers have promised £2.8 billion to kickstart construction of six large hospitals

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced the government cash for four projects in the South East, one in the Midlands and one in Yorkshire.

The announcement forms part of a Health Infrastructure Plan launched at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this morning to boost the long-term quality of patient care. 

A further 21 NHS trusts have been given ‘seed funding’ to develop business cases for construction projects, with the aim of delivering them by 2030, subject to approvals.

The cash for the half dozen hospitals had been presented as part of a wider £13 billion package to build 40 new hospitals, however that included a number of existing plans for rebuilding ageing stock.

Hancock hopes the six new hospitals will be completed by 2025.

Sites identified for the projects are:

  • Whipps Cross University Hospital in London for Barts Health Trust
  • St Helier Hospital in London for Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust
  • Leeds General Infirmary in West Yorkshire for Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
  • Princess Alexandra Hospital in Essex for the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust
  • Leicester General in the East Midlands for University Hospitals of Leicester Trust
  • Watford General in Hertfordshire for West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust

The announcement marks a move away from controversial private finance initiatives (PFI) which have been used to fund major hospital builds since the early 90s.

Fraser/Livingstone Architects co-founder Malcolm Fraser this month wrote to Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay demanding that private finance should no longer be used for the procurement of schools and hospitals.

Earlier this month the Scottish government launched a public inquiry into issues at the much-delayed Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh designed by HLM Architects.

And earlier this year an urgent inquiry was ordered into the design of the IBI-designed hospital in Glasgow after it emerged that an infection, potentially linked to ingress of pigeon droppings, was a factor in a child’s death.

South of the border, remediation started this summer on HKS and NBBJ’s troubled Royal Liverpool Hospital project, which was left in limbo when main contractor Carillion collapsed into liquidation last year.

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