Community Hospitals

Part of Petition - Chicken Farm, Rushden, Northamptonshire – in the House of Commons at 8:44 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 8:44 pm, 12th March 2019

I am glad that my hon. Friend said that, because if he had not, I would have been forced to do so. We should all celebrate the hospital provision in Weston-super-Mare and the great work that is being done there.

We care deeply about ensuring that residents in all local areas can access excellent health and care services, both now and well into the future, and that is why the NHS is this Government’s No. 1 spending priority. The NHS budget will increase by £33.9 billion in cash terms by 2023-24, which is the single biggest cash increase in the NHS’s history. We have set out the what, and we now have to set out the how, which is why we are focusing on successfully implementing the NHS long-term plan. The NHS will develop a clear implementation framework, setting out how the long-term plan’s commitments will be delivered by local systems. This will be shared shortly, and it is being led by NHS England.

My hon. Friend asked whether some of the additional resources from the NHS funding settlement could be earmarked for community care so that valuable community resources such as Congleton Hospital can continue to deliver their vital services. I can confirm that we have prioritised investment in primary and community healthcare through the long-term plan, in which we have committed at least an extra £4.5 billion a year to primary medical and community health services. That additional money will fund expanded community multi-disciplinary teams and will help to ensure that, within five years, all parts of the country will have improved community health response services that can be delivered by flexible teams working across primary care and local hospitals, and developed to meet local needs.