The NHS has unveiled details of a £l.1 billion capital investment for buildings and equipment.
This is the first real terms increase in capital in the NHS in the last five years. The cash will be spread throughout a variety of projects throughout the UK. It includes £14.2m for a new obstetrics, gynaecology and neonatology development in Sheffield, £10.8 m for a new rehabilitation unit in Sunderland and £5.8m for improved facilities in Leicester for elderly people with mental difficulties.
Health secretary Frank Dobson said: “The Government is determined to create a modern and dependable NHS. This is only part of a record £21 billion the government is investing in the NHS over the next three years. It will make a real difference to local people.”
Dobson added part of the cash would be devoted to ending mixed-sex wards in the NHS. He commented: “I gave a pledge that we will work towards the elimination of mixed sex accommodation and this is the first of our three year plan to inject almost £8 billion into the NHS for investment in new buildings, equipment and facilities.”
Pressure groups have been calling for several years for the abolition of mixed-sex wards as part of the investment.
Anna Bradley, director of National Consumer Council said: “Mixed sex hospital wards were one of the concerns voiced by patients, particularly women.”