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Boris Johnson pledges £1.8bn cash boost for the NHS

PM is planning to upgrade 20 hospitals

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is to provide an additional £1.8bn for the NHS as part of his pledge to upgrade 20 hospitals across the country.

According to reports, the new funds will be directed straight to the front line for new beds and updated equipment. It will also include upgrades to wards and some building repairs.

A source told the Guardian: “This money will be felt by frontline services, by the doctors and nurses whose hard work is invaluable, and by the patients they care for.”

Researchers at the Nuffield Trust think tank suggested Johnson’s promise to upgrade 20 hospitals would cost at least £3.2bn, based on an assessment of hospitals two years ago.

“Based on the conservative £160m cost estimate per trust, the total cost for upgrading all NHS services would be around £33bn,” tweeted Sally Gainsbury, a senior policy analyst at the trust.

“That wouldn’t all need to happen at once – it takes time to build a new hospital wing after all. There have been calls to double the NHS budget for NHS investment – including from the NHS’s own regulator NHS Improvement. That would take investment to around £14bn next year.”

Danny Mortimer, deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation and chief executive of NHS Employers, said the extra money is desperately needed to modernise services and working environments and improve the quality and efficiency of patient care. 

“Spending on NHS buildings, equipment and digital technology is half the OECD average and woefully inadequate,” he argued. “There is a huge logjam of cases for investment in the NHS and there are many old buildings that cannot be adapted to deliver modern patient care.”