Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed the news that Health Secretary Matt Hancock has launched the biggest hospital building programme in a generation, which will provide the vital care people need as well as funding for Worcestershire for a new, specialist mental health pilot.

The Department of Health has confirmed that even though 6 hospitals have been announced to receive funding, the package will be open to many more, including the Worcestershire Acute Trust. Robin has already been in communication with the Department of Health and he is campaigning for significant new funding to expand the Emergency Department at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

As part of the new Health Infrastructure Plan, dozens of hospitals are set to be upgraded and a fund to improve critical infrastructure established. The package also includes £900m to deliver major improvements in health tech, and £200 million to replace MRI, CT scanners and breast cancer screening equipment, so that no scanner in the NHS is more than 10 years old.

Robin also welcomed new models of personalised care due to be rolled out to tackle the serious issue of adult mental illness and was pleased that Worcestershire and Herefordshire were chosen as areas of the country to pilot new specialist NHS mental health care, with the NHS to recruit 1,000 extra specialist staff to treat mental health issues. This will help to ensure patients have easier access to the support they need.

This is part of a huge boost to mental health services for adults which will see an extra £975 million going into these services every year. This pilot will involve strategies for a range of mental health issues, including eating disorders and alcohol addiction, psychosis and bipolar disorder.

Over the next five years, our Conservative NHS policy will include:

  • 6 new hospital projects across the country.
  • A short-term fund to help the NHS eradicate critical patient safety risk.
  • £900m to help the UK to better harness our health data.
  • £200 million to replace 170 MRI/CT scanners or breast cancer screening equipment to ensure no scanner is more than 10 years old.
  • A further round of hospital upgrades where most needed

Speaking after the announcement, Robin said:

“At a time of record investment in our NHS, it is crucial that we invest in better facilities as well as in staff, training, medicines and treatments. I have long argued that the Worcestershire Royal Hospital was built too small and needs a significant upgrade to its A and E, I’ve also long campaigned for more investment in mental health and I am delighted we are one of the pilots for that.”

“In recent weeks, I have been meeting the Health Secretary and his advisors to make the case for new significant investment in our hospital and I believe that today’s announcement will create the opportunity for that campaign to move forward. Having previously campaigned for and secured a dedicated breast unit, a midwife led birth unit and a state-of-the-art radiotherapy unit at our hospital, I am determined to get the capacity in emergency care that we badly need.”

“Whilst of course I would prefer our local hospital to have been one of the first six, I am working with the Trust to make sure that they have shovel ready plans as soon as possible so that we can take advantage of this opportunity to bid and follow up on the more than £30 million pounds that has been invested in Worcestershire hospitals in recent years.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“When I became Prime Minister, I promised to make sure that money for the NHS gets directly to the front line, so that patients consistently receive world-class care and NHS staff have the resources they need to provide this incredible service day in, day out.”

“We’re already delivering on this, upgrading hospitals across the country. And today we’re investing more money to support our NHS. We’re providing additional funding for 40 new hospitals to be built over the next decade. This will transform our NHS for millions of patients and hard-working staff.”

“I’ve spent the past two months visiting hospitals across the country, and I’ve seen first-hand the need to invest in our hospitals. We need to get Brexit done by October 31 so we can focus on investing in our NHS, providing more resources for staff and world-leading care for patients.”

END

Notes to editors 

For Robin’s previous statement on Health, please see:

https://www.walker4worcester.com/?s=health

For more information on the mental health announcement, please see:

https://www.conservatives.com/sharethefacts/2019/07/mental-health-policy-schools