In a difficult financial climate, it’s often building maintenance that falls by the wayside, however, PM Boris Johnson has pledged a £1.8 billion funding boost for hospitals with ageing buildings to renovate and renew them. The new fund is aimed at upgrading outdated buildings, as well as improving facilities, equipment and patient care, however, the prime minister also stated that the majority of the one-off payment would be spent on repairing hospitals.
While for the hospitals who receive the funds, which can all be found outlined on Yahoo News, the money will be well received as its desperately needed, the move has also resulted in some criticism, especially considering how much money dated hospital buildings across the country actually need.
Ben Gershlick, from the Health Foundation charity, for example, outlined that NHS buildings are in a state of ‘major disrepair’ with a maintenance backlog that far exceeds the figure provided – up to some £6 billion: “Years of under-investment in the NHS’s infrastructure means this extra money risks being little more than a drop in the ocean,” he explained.
Nigel Edwards from the Nuffield Trust health think tank agreed that this figure was unrealistic for upgrading 20 hospitals and said that “Nobody should expect shiny new hospitals in their towns any time soon.”
For Boris Johnson, who led the pro-Brexit campaign back in 2016 with an infamous promise to take all money sent to the EU and funnel it into the NHS, any criticism on spending on the NHS will be a problem.
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