£600m moneypot to eradicate hospital maintenance backlog

1,800 projects across 178 trusts will tackle urgent maintenance issues

A new government fund will help to address crippling backlog maintenance pressures facing NHS hospitals

NHS hospital staff, patients, and visitors across all regions in England will benefit from refurbished wards, new electrics, and upgraded ventilation systems by next spring, the Health Secretary has announced, as the Government invests £600m to tackle critical maintenance work.

The funding has been released to 178 NHS trusts to cover almost 1,800 maintenance projects, which will be completed by March.

Investment will be targeted towards a range of projects including:

  • Building new or refurbished buildings to deliver key services
  • Upgrades to electrical infrastructure
  • Improvements to ventilation systems
  • Works to improve fire safety
  • Replacing hospital lifts

The investment is part of £1.5billion capital funding package which was announced in the summer to build an NHS fit for the future, which also includes plans to modernise mental health facilities, expand A&E capacity, and improve infection control ahead of winter.

These crucial maintenance projects will deliver immediate benefits and provide NHS staff with the facilities they need to provide world-class care to their patients this winter

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, said: “Alongside delivering on our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals and 20 major hospital upgrades across the country, this investment will help our NHS build back better.

“These crucial maintenance projects will deliver immediate benefits and provide NHS staff with the facilities they need to provide world-class care to their patients this winter, helping ensure the NHS is always there for you when you need it.”

The projects include:

  • £15.9m for a new critical care centre at Northampton General Hospital
  • £3.3m to Croydon Health Services NHS Trust for a new paediatric integrated unit
  • £6.5m for the construction of a new MRI building at St George’s Hospital in London to house a new scanner
  • £2.7m to refurbish Firth Theatres at the Northern General Hospital, which includes critical care, cardiovascular surgery and other surgical wards

Trusts were provided an initial allocation based on need and were asked to put forward suitable projects that would deliver maximum impact and the best value for money, and which could be completed by March 2021.

The successful projects are evenly distributed across England, with more than half of projects in the Midlands, North East and Yorkshire; and North West regions.

Alongside delivering on our manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals and 20 major hospital upgrades across the country, this investment will help our NHS build back better

This week’s announcement is on top of an additional £450m investment by the Government to improve hospital A&Es this winter by expanding waiting areas and increasing the number of treatment cubicles, helping to boost capacity by providing additional space, reducing overcrowding, and improving infection control measures.

The Government has also confirmed a series of major investments in NHS infrastructure, including £850m to upgrade 20 hospitals and £3.7billion to help deliver 40 new hospitals by 2030.

And, following last month’s Spending Review, £1.2billion has been ringfenced for NHS new hospitals and upgrades in 2021/22, plus £4.2billion for NHS operational capital funding.

The Treasury has also committed an additional £235m for further hospital maintenance works for the next financial year beginning in April 2021.

And there will be a further boost for technology and digital projects including AI labs and remote GP appointments, diagnostic equipment, and a science hub.

Companies