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Labor demands examine Boris Johnson’s belated pledge of ’40 new hospitals’.

NHS leaders are said to be concerned some projects may not go ahead due to disputes between No 10, the Treasury and the Department of Health

In his manifesto for 2019, Boris Johnson promised to build 40 new hospitals
In his manifesto for 2019, Boris Johnson promised to build 40 new hospitals

Labor has called on the public spending regulator to investigate the delays surrounding Boris Johnson’s pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030.

The Prime Minister pledged to deliver dozens of new facilities in the 2019 Tory Manifesto, but that pledge quickly came under fire when it emerged some of the plans were for refurbishments or simply additional units.

NHS leaders are said to be concerned some projects may not go ahead due to disputes between No 10, the Treasury and the Department of Health.

While 10 smaller projects are scheduled to start before September 2024, a start date has yet to be specified for eight larger projects, which should be completed by 2028 at the latest Sunday times.

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting sounded the alarm about the reports in a letter to the National Audit Office (NAO), warning “that disputes between government ministers will lead to delays” and that “unnecessary delays will result in a significant waste of taxpayers’ money”.







Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting expressed concerns about the hospital plan to the watchdog
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Picture:

Zuma Press/PA Images)

The Government has earmarked £3.7billion for the project, but former NHS England chief Lord Stevens told colleagues last month that this sum “won’t buy 40 hospitals” and described “a need to go ahead with it”.

Underlining the growing need for better hospital facilities, Mr Streeting said: “It is therefore worrying that disputes between government ministers are causing delays in the program to meet the government’s commitment to build 40 new hospitals, the New Hospitals Program.”

He continued: “NHS trusts are still waiting to receive funding to start construction two and a half years after the general election.

“And this despite the fact that many of these planned construction measures are only conversions or refurbishments, not ‘new hospitals’.

“I fear that given the rise in building material prices over the past year, unnecessary delays will result in a significant waste of taxpayers’ money.”

And he called on the NAO to “launch an investigation into this program now to examine what is causing the delivery delays and the extent to which taxpayers’ money is being wasted”.







Boris Johnson promised to deliver 40 new hospitals
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Picture:

(Getty Images)

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “The Government’s hospital construction scheme risks being the dog that never barks.

“Years after 40 new hospitals were announced, hardly any have evolved and we still have many dilapidated buildings that are costly to maintain.

“The lack of new and upgraded hospital buildings is also slowing efforts to lengthen waiting lists. The Government has launched these flagship new builds with much fanfare, but NHS leaders are growing frustrated that the money isn’t getting through. The fear now is that some of these may never see the light of day.”

The Department of Health and Social Care has been asked for comment.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/labour-demands-probe-boris-johnsons-27151663 Labor demands examine Boris Johnson's belated pledge of '40 new hospitals'.

Fry Electronics Team

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