New Hospitals: Capital Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

What plans the Government have to make capital funding available for new hospitals.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

We have committed £3.9 billion of capital investment by 2023 to transform and modernise NHS buildings. We are also increasing the NHS budget by 3.4% a year, while keeping taxes low for working people.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Chair, Education Committee, Chair, Education Committee

Despite the hospital having outstanding staff and the extra moneys that have gone to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, the building is in a very bad state and not fit for purpose and we desperately need a new hospital. Will my right hon. Friend use the moneys from the excellent £20 billion extra money for the NHS and work with the Health Secretary to make sure that we get a new hospital for Harlow?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

I thank my right hon. Friend for his question. In December, we allocated £9.5 million to the Princess Alexandra Hospital to help to improve the emergency care pathway, but I recognise that there are further issues. Of course we are in discussions with the Department of Health and Social Care and these issues will be looked at in the spending review.

Photo of Chris Bryant Chris Bryant Chair, Finance Committee (Commons), Chair, Finance Committee (Commons)

It is not just about capital spending; it really is, in relation to acquired brain injury, for instance, also about making sure we have enough people to follow on from the work done in the new trauma centres to make sure there is proper neuro-rehabilitation and local authorities have enough money to provide decent housing for people. Will the right hon. Lady look at this in the round? Will she make sure that we are not letting people down? We can have as many wonderful hospital buildings as we want, but in the end you need people to treat people.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

That is one of the reasons—rising demand—that we have put extra money into the NHS: up to £20 billion per year. But as part of the spending review we will be looking across the board to make sure that services are integrated and we are investing to get the best possible results for people.