I recently asked sent a number of Written Parliamentary Questions to the Department of Health and Social Care. I asked the Department what steps were being taken to build and renovate hospitals over the next ten years; and what steps were being taken to reduce GP waiting times in Wycombe.
You can read the full answers below, but I was pleased that:
- Around £2.4 billion has been awarded since July 2017 to modernise and transform the NHS’s buildings and services.
- The Government has announced the next stage of strategic investment into the NHS – the Health Infrastructure Plan. This will include £2.7 billion to build six new hospitals and £100 million for major rebuilds or further development of 34 existing hospitals.
- GP’s will receive £4.5 billion more a year by 2023/24 in real terms to help reduce waiting times.
I recently asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care if he would come and visit Wycombe Hospital to explore how our local infrastructure can be updated.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) build and (b) renovate hospitals over the next 10 years; and if he will make a statement.
Over 150 sustainability and transformation partnership schemes have been awarded around £2.4 billion of capital funding since July 2017 to modernise and transform the National Health Service’s buildings and services. On 5 August 2019, the Government announced a further £1.8 billion increase to NHS capital spending, of which £850 million is funding to allow 20 new hospital upgrades to start as soon as possible.
On 29 September the Government announced the next stage of its strategic investment in the NHS; the Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP). The plan strategy document was published on 30 September 2019 and will deliver a long-term, rolling five-year programme of investment in health infrastructure. This will ensure that health infrastructure is fit-for-purpose for decades to come. The package of funding for 40 new hospitals includes:
– £2.7 billion for six new hospital projects to be delivered in our first phase of major hospital rebuilds (HIP1); and
– £100 million to give the go-ahead to 21 major projects, covering 34 hospitals to go to the next stage of developing their plans, to be delivered in the second phase of major hospital rebuilds, subject to business case approval.
Future phases will be supported through the Chancellor’s commitment at Spending Round 2019 on 4 September to provide a multi-year capital budget for the Department at the next capital review.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he will take to ensure waiting times for GP appointments are reduced in Wycombe.
The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, made a clear commitment to the future of general practice, with primary and community care set to receive at least £4.5 billion more a year by 2023/24, in real terms.
Evening and weekend general practice appointments are routinely available across the country to enable patients to find appointments at a time convenient to them, with millions of patients having already benefitted from this.
Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) advises that a key focus in the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) integrated care system plan submission for delivering the objectives of the Long Term Plan is providing access to services closer to home for residents. Irrespective of where residents live in Buckinghamshire, every patient with an urgent care need will be able to access same-day primary care (in or out of hours). This will not necessarily be face-to-face and with a general practitioner (GP), but could be online with advice, telephone consultations and with other members of the primary care team. Work is already underway to deliver technological solutions, such as online consultations, in 2019/20. Improved access and seven-day working have been in place since October 2018 across BOB, offering routine appointments in the evening and at weekends.
In August 2019, 82.61% of general practice appointments in the Buckinghamshire CCG region took place within two weeks of booking.