On Wednesday 18th December 2019, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, made a speech at the Policy Exchange wherein he outlined the Conservative Government’s plan for improving the NHS.
In his speech, the Health Secretary went into detail on the new provisions being made to establish health infrastructure, with this involving the construction of a further 40 hospitals over the course of the next decade in addition to 20 hospital upgrades.
Specifically, he stated: “Over the last couple of decades, the approach to upgrading hospital infrastructure has been too piecemeal and unstrategic. I have seen some places where the infrastructure is fantastic, but in others it is crying out for an upgrade.
“Under the Health Infrastructure Plan, the NHS will come out of the 2020s completely physically transformed.
“We will deliver 40 new hospitals over the next decade, while also addressing the short-term demands, fixing the backlog of maintenance and integrating care between both primary and secondary community and mental health, and the wider life sciences and research agenda.
“The Health Infrastructure Plan will include the 20 hospital upgrades the PM announced on the steps of Downing Street, which are already underway.
“We are going to build a better NHS brick by brick: modern well-designed wards, with the right facilities to speed up recovery, ensure patients receive the right treatment, cut waiting times, improve patient safety, and make life easier for staff.
“But it is not just about the bricks and mortar. It is about integrating care better. It is going to be the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.
“And we are going to radically simplify the approvals process to make the whole approach for the use of capital investment more strategic across integrated care systems – not piecemeal trust by trust.
“But it is not just about investing in new buildings but embracing a new mindset.”
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