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Outcry over 123 rejected ‘new hospital’ bids

Multiple trusts have expressed disappointment at being overlooked in the government’s latest announcement on the ‘40 new hospitals’ programme.

In 2021, ministers expanded the new hospitals programme by inviting bids for another eight projects to be funded nationally. However, last week they confirmed that just five new bids – all acute hospitals with unsafe roof plank structures – had been accepted.

Multiple mental health trusts have also expressed frustration, after just one new mental health scheme has been included in the list of 40 “new” hospitals, although the government is counting three which were already in progress outside the programme.

Joe Rafferty, chief executive of Mersey Care, has compared a lack of investment into mental health estate to “institutionalised discrimination”. Bradford District Care said it was “very disappointing” to find out its bid to replace “wholly unsuitable” wards designed in the 1950s had not been accepted, adding: “Still no parity for mental health in the total NHP funding allocation so far.”

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Source: HSJ, 31 May 2023


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