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NHS not ministers should decide future ‘new hospitals’, says DHSC chief

A permanent change in approach is needed for deciding which hospitals are built and  when, and should be led by the NHS not politicians, the government’s ‘new hospitals programme’ boss has told HSJ.

Natalie Forrest, who is leading the government’s drive to build “40 new hospitals” by 2030, said the service must move beyond political targets, and towards the NHS having more autonomy to work through a list of rebuilds needed. 

Ms Forrest, who has led the programme since 2021, said: “There shouldn’t be a special group that are getting rebuilt, and everyone else has to watch from the sidelines.” 

The former Chase Farm Hospital chief said she believed this was now the direction of travel, and that a commitment from ministers for a “rolling programme” beyond 2030 represented the “biggest success [for the NHP] so far”. 

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 26 June 2023


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