We must build health infrastructure fit for the 21st centuryby Edward Argar / June 23, 2020 / Leave a comment
With our country turning the tide on coronavirus, the worst global pandemic in a century, it is right that we look forward while at the same time staying alert to prevent a resurgence of the virus.
Whilst this invisible killer has disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives, it has also reminded us all of the very special place which the NHS holds in our nation’s heart. As we emerge from this period, we do so more committed than ever to securing the future of the NHS and the health of the nation.
Throughout the pandemic the government, with the support of the British public, has worked tirelessly to protect the health service, to ensure it had the capacity and resources it needed so that demand never outstripped capacity, and as a result, lives were saved.
But while the focus recently has been on tackling the pandemic, the work on delivering our long-term Health Infrastructure Plan and our commitment of 40 new hospitals has continued at pace.
In the past, the approach to NHS buildings and infrastructure by governments of all political complexions has been piecemeal and uncoordinated, but now more than ever it is essential that we properly invest in and plan for the future of the NHS.
After all, our frontline health and care workers, to whom as a nation we owe our gratitude, have brought us through this crisis and they deserve modern, state-of-the-art facilities in which to carry out their lifesaving work. This in turn will help provide better care and a better experience for patients, and ensure the NHS is fit for the future.
The Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP) launched last year set our priorities over the long term, and is designed to give our world-class health professionals the “tools” they need to do their jobs.
At its core is the largest hospital-building programme in a generation, launched with a £2.7bn investment that gives six new hospitals the funding to go ahead now, with the pledge to deliver 40 new hospitals in total over the next ten years.
Last year we also announced £1.8bn to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment and tackle urgent projects, including major upgrades at 20 hospitals,…