£330m to be spent on new NHS buildings and equipment

DH announces capital funding boost for diagnostic equipment and estates improvements

The Department of Health is to plough £336.5m into the development of new hospital facilities and the purchase of state-of-the-art imaging and diagnostic equipment for NHS trusts across England, it was revealed this week.

This investment will mean that old facilities are revamped, there is more world-class equipment in NHS hospitals, and more patients get the scans and treatment that they need

The projects include new urgent care centres for east Lancashire and Hillingdon and an upgrade of the existing facility at St Helier Hospital. The North West London Hospitals NHS Trust will also develop a purpose-built A&E department incorporating an urgent care centre and operating theatres. Facilities there will include acute inpatient assessment, specialist inpatient care theatres and critical care.

Scarborough General Hospital will build a new dedicated paediatric facility, which will look after around 5,000 paediatric inpatients and 4,500 paediatric outpatients every year, while a new birthing centre will be built in Birmingham, enabling the delivery of an additional 650 babies every year. This facility will include a purpose-built recovery area and a new induction suite. And community hospitals in Bridgewater, Tewkesbury, Purley and Surbiton will be revamped, benefiting more than 200,000 patients.

The money will also pay for new equipment, including CT scanners for hospitals in Dorset, East Sussex and Newham, and better breast screening equipment will mean more women can be screened for cancer. Among the trusts to benefit are NHS East London and City, which will receive £1.1m to screen an extra 10,000 women a year.

It will ensure millions of people see better buildings, better equipment, and brand new facilities and services as well as saving thousands of lives

Announcing the money, Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “This Government is investing in the NHS to ensure the very best care is available – that’s why I can announce over £330m of new medical equipment, from CT scanners to cancer therapy and neo-natal care facilities. It will ensure millions of people see better buildings, better equipment, and brand new facilities and services as well as saving thousands of lives.”

Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, added: “Ensuring patients have access to the best quality equipment and services is essential in a modern NHS that strives to put patients first. This investment will mean that old facilities are revamped, there is more world-class equipment in NHS hospitals, and more patients get the scans and treatment that they need.”

He said cash was set aside after the Government made savings in other areas, such as healthcare IT, through tougher financial controls.

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