£700 million to support NHS this winter


£700m of the £5.4bn announced to support the NHS response to the pandemic in the second half of the year is to be targeted for 785 schemes across 187 hospital Trusts to increase capacity and tackle waiting lists.

The funding will be provided to expand wards, install modular operating theatres, upgrade outpatient spaces and MRI and screening technology. It will be split across all regions in England, and will help reduce waiting times for patients by expanding the number of operating theatres and beds - including new day surgery units to prevent unnecessary overnight stays - and investment in technology to improve their experiences of care and help them manage their conditions.

Alongside this, the government is today publishing a document setting out the key challenges facing NHS and social care services this winter, including COVID-19 and the potential threat of variants, preparations being undertaken to keep people safe and healthy, as well as the actions the public can take.

The pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. To fix this, the NHS needs to be able to offer more appointments, operations and treatments. New, innovative practices must be adopted so patients continue to receive the best possible care.

The allocations for the £700 million announced today include £330 million for upgrading NHS facilities, £250 million for new technology and £120 million for any supporting revenue costs.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid says: "Ahead of what is going to be a difficult winter, we’re putting everything behind our health and care services, so everyone can access the services they need, when they need them.

"Our £700 million investment will help more people get treated over the coming months by upgrading wards, operating theatres, and diagnostic kit."

The funding will cover the costs of:

• Additional day surgery units to boost activity and avoid patients having to stay overnight or longer

• Additional permanent and modular theatres and surgical hubs in multiple Trusts to drive up the number of operations which can be carried out

• Expanding outpatient space for those not staying overnight, to increase the numbers of patients that can be seen

• Upgraded or new imaging equipment, including MRI and mobile breast screening units.

The £700 million has been allocated equally across the country, weighted by population size. The geographical breakdown is as follows:

• £112 million for the North East and Yorkshire

• £97 million for the North West

• £131 million for the Midlands

• £78 million for the East of England

• £105 million for the South East

• £69 million for the South West

• £109 million for London.

See the full list of allocations and more detail here.

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