Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Newspaper column 7 August 2019 - A new hospital for Cornwall

On Sunday the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a one-off cash boost of £1.8 billion for NHS hospitals in England.

Of this, almost £1 billion will be available immediately to go towards new equipment and upgrades to 20 hospitals.

The money is new money, coming from the Treasury and is not a re-allocation of funds from the Department of Health.

It is on top of an extra £33 billion a year by 2023 announced by former prime minister Theresa May last year.

Late on Sunday evening we learned that the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust will be receiving £99.9 million which will go towards a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in the centre of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro. This is the largest share of the £1.8 billion fund going to any Trust around the country.

Back in July, when there were problems at Treliske caused by a virus outbreak, myself and the other Cornish MPs met with Secretary of State Matt Hancock to discuss what could be done to ease the pressure. Obviously, new facilities were at the top of our list. This announcement, just weeks into the new Prime Minister’s tenure, shows the Government has listened and remains committed to the NHS and services in Cornwall.

This Government has already put real terms increases of funding into Cornwall’s NHS and we have seen tangible outcomes from this, including the construction of the inpatient mental health facility for young people which is due to open this year. In December and April we also saw announcements of a combined £44.8 million of NHS Capital funding for Cornwall, which will go straight to improving vital facilities around our county. This along with the Government’s Long Term Plan for the future of the NHS, supported by the new cash funding commitment of £33.9 billion by 2023-24, to make sure the NHS is fit for purpose and always there to serve the people of our country.

It is also worth pointing out that these investments announced so far nationally, are more than the £350 million a week that was on the red Brexit bus.

Of course, improving outcomes for patients is not just about putting more money in, it is important we also spend it in the right way and I welcome the focus of Long Term NHS Plan in helping people to be healthier as well as improving treatments.

As ever I will continue to work with my Cornish MP colleagues to do everything we can to ensure that Cornwall continues to receive a fair share of funding in the years to come.

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