Opportunity to transform healthcare in the region takes a step forward | Latest News

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Opportunity to transform healthcare in the region takes a step forward | Latest News

Opportunity to transform healthcare in the region takes a step forward

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Hospital Trust (UHMBT) and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (LTHTr) are moving forward as part of the second phase of Government’s flagship Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP).

LTHTr and UHMBT have agreed to work collaboratively to maximise seed funding and healthcare opportunities to develop infrastructure plans which will range in scale across the region.

This initial funding comes to around £10m and is a substantial investment to enable a business case to be created to access significant ‘final funds’ which will include a new build hospital upgrade. The transformation will also provide residents and other service users with access to up-to-date facilities.

HIP sets out a long-term, rolling five-year programme of investment in health infrastructure, including capital to build new hospitals, modernise primary care estate, invest in new diagnostics and technology, and help eradicate critical safety issues in the NHS estate.

The funding identified in the HIP has been allocated to schemes in two parts, with LTHTr and UHMBT included within the second phase:

  • HIP1 (2020-2025) includes six new hospital projects that are sufficiently developed in order to get the full go ahead now, subject to business case approvals
  • HIP2 (2025-2030) includes 21 more schemes for 34 new-build hospitals, with seed funding provided now to kick-start schemes and allow Trusts to proceed to the next stage of developing their hospital plans (and related business cases)

Whilst unconfirmed, the final funding is likely to be in excess of £1bn, to transform the health and wellbeing of everyone in the area, not just within hospitals.

Primary and community care buildings must also be fit to meet current and future demands, reflecting the commitment made in the NHS Long Term Plan to boost out of hospital care.

Aaron Cummins, Chief Executive, UHMBT, said: “The NHS is much more than buildings; it’s about people - those that work within it and those that are cared by it. Both of our Trusts, like the rest of the NHS, are blessed with having an incredible talent pool of professional colleagues, providing leading edge, innovative, life changing care and it is to their credit that they do this in what are often less than ideal conditions. Some of our facilities are no longer fit for the 21st century even if upgraded with some of them needing to be demolished and re-built rather than just repairing. Our staff, patients and communities deserve much better.”

Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, said: “We agreed earlier in the year that to maximise the seed funds and healthcare opportunities, our trusts would work collaboratively.

“It’s also important to make clear that this isn’t just about building hospitals. We want to use the final funding to transform the health and wellbeing of everyone in the area. Ultimately, we want to help people stay healthy and well and remain out of hospital wherever possible.”

Plans will be developed in partnership with each Trust workforce, local communities and partners over the next 12 months with the aim of having outline initial proposals to consult on later in 2021. 

More information about the HIP can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-infrastructure-plan

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