London, Sep 29 (IANS) The UK government has pledged 13 billion pounds ($15 billion) for 40 new hospital projects across England in the next decade.
Under plans drawn up by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, the 13 billion pounds would be spent on creating “new” hospitals – either with entirely new buildings or revamping existing structures to improve facilities, the BBC reported on Sunday.
Hancock said on Saturday that it was “the largest sum that has ever been invested in the NHS (National Health Services)” after the extra 33.9 billion pounds the government has committed to spend on the health service up to 2023.
The plans include a 2.7 billion pounds investment for six hospitals over five years and a further 34 new hospitals will receive 100 million pounds in initial funding to start improvement projects, including Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham and the North Manchester General Hospital.
The remaining projects, including up to a dozen smaller rural hospitals, would be completed over the second half of the next decade.
The plans also include 200 million pounds for replacing MRI, CT scanners and breast cancer screening equipment.
The government further said that there would be an extra 2.3 billion pounds a year by 2023-4 to improve mental health care and 975 million pounds of funding was earmarked to provide community mental health provision, the BBC reported.
The 2.3 billion pounds figure was announced when the government outlined its future priorities for the NHS in January under the NHS Long Term Plan.
The 12 pilot areas will be funded from this pot.
Mental health minister Nadine Dorries said the plans for a new approach to mental health treatment and 70 million pounds of investment in pilot areas would begin a “step-change” in provision.