This fact sheet sets out the latest on the government’s New Hospital Programme, following the announcement that five hospitals constructed mostly using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) will be rebuilt by 2030 as part of the New Hospital Programme - protecting patients and staff safety, expected to be backed by over £20 billion of investment in hospital infrastructure.
The five hospitals are Airedale in West Yorkshire, Queen Elizabeth King’s Lynn in Norfolk, Hinchingbrooke in Cambridgeshire, Mid Cheshire Leighton in Cheshire and Frimley Park in Surrey. This is on top of two of the worst affected hospitals - West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and James Paget Hospital in Norfolk.
The NHS has asked the government to prioritise the rebuilding of these hospitals given the risks they pose to patients and staff - the full extent of which has come to light since the New Hospital Programme was first announced in 2020.
Read the Health and Social Care Secretary's oral statement here: Health and Social Care Secretary Oral Statement on NHP - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:
“These five hospitals are in pressing need of repair and are being prioritised so patients and staff can benefit from major new hospital buildings, equipped with the latest technology.
“On top of this I’m strengthening our New Hospital Programme by today confirming that it is expected to represent more than £20 billion of new investment in hospital infrastructure.
“As we approach the 75th anniversary of our fantastic NHS, this extra investment will ensure it can care for patients for decades to come and help cut waiting lists so they get the treatment they need quicker.”
What is the status of the New Hospital programme schemes?
- Two schemes are already complete and five are in construction. By next year, more than 20 will be underway.
- Government remains committed to delivering all schemes announced as part of the New Hospital Programme, which is now expected to represent over £20 billion of investment in new hospital infrastructure.
- The government is on track to deliver the manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals in England by 2030.
On what basis have you prioritised these five RAAC hospitals over others?
- The NHS has asked government to prioritise the rebuilding of these hospitals given the risks these buildings pose to patients and staff - the full extent of which has come to light since the programme was first announced in 2019.
- Recent detailed structural assessment of the additional five sites has confirmed they are not safe to operate beyond 2030, and so to ensure the hospitals can continue caring for patients they need to be rebuilt as the current propping and risk mitigation cannot be a long-term fix.
How much will the new hospitals cost to build?
- As the additional five RAAC hospitals are part of the New Hospital programme, which is expected to represent over £20 billion of investment in new hospital infrastructure.
- This is part of a multi-year capital settlement where further funding will be set out in future spending reviews in the usual way.
- All schemes within the New Hospital Programme follow a business case process, including being reviewed and agreed by ministers. Final individual allocations for schemes will only be determined once the Full Business Cases have been reviewed and agreed.
When will the RAAC hospitals go into construction?
- They will start construction as soon as possible, with the first building works beginning in 2025.
Will patients and staff using the current buildings be safe in the meantime?
- Patient and staff safety is our top priority.
- We remain committed to eradicating RAAC from the wider NHS estate by 2035 and have already allocated £685 million in immediate support to help keep patients and staff safe, including to these five hospitals. The 5 RAAC trusts joining NHP will still be able to access this separate national fund. We will discuss the updated assessment of need with each trust, considering the Government’s decision to re-build the hospital as soon as possible.
- In addition, all healthcare systems receive an annual capital allocation – a share of over £4 billion annually – to maintain the NHS estate and address safety issues.
What about the ‘next 8’ selection process to become part of the New Hospital Programme?
- These five RAAC hospitals submitted an expression of interest to the next 8 selection process, and in order to protect both staff and patients they have been prioritised.
- The New Hospital Programme will focus on delivering these major new hospitals as a priority, therefore further schemes will not be invited to join the programme at the moment. Trusts will be made aware when and how further projects will be invited to join the new, rolling programme.
What does the long-term rolling programme mean in practice?
- We recognise the need for continuous investment in healthcare infrastructure.
- Therefore, the New Hospital Programme will become part of a rolling programme of investment in new health capital infrastructure to deliver new hospitals up to 2030 and beyond.
- This will mean further future investment to upgrade NHS facilities across the country and improve care for staff and patients, with details agreed periodically to provide greater certainty. This will mean more than 40 new hospitals will be built in the longer term.
Are some schemes being delayed?
- As a result of this reprioritisation, as well as the rising cost of construction materials, eight schemes that were originally due to be constructed towards the end of the decade (known as Cohort 4) will now be completed past 2030, though they will all be in build.
- The government will keep the situation under review and do everything it can to accelerate the completion timeline of the hospitals impacted, if circumstances allow.
- The New Hospital Programme will continue to work closely with new and existing schemes on their plans to ensure they deliver for patients, staff and communities.
- We remain committed to all schemes that have already been announced as part of the New Hospital Programme and will ensure they all have the funding originally promised and we are on track to deliver the manifesto commitment to build 40 new hospitals in England by 2030.
Will these three mental health schemes be new hospitals?
- Yes all three schemes in Surrey and Borders NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Mersey Care Foundation Trust meet our definition of a new hospital.
- The definition of a new hospital is: a major new clinical building on an existing site or a new wing of an existing hospital, or a major refurbishment and alteration of all but the building frame or main structure.
- The rebuilding of three mental health hospitals forms part of our commitment to eradicate dormitory accommodation from mental health facilities across the country and put mental health on an equal footing to physical health.
Are the mental health hospitals part of the New Hospital Programme?
- These three mental health hospitals are not part of the New Hospital Programme. However they demonstrate how government is providing funding for new hospitals from wider capital budgets.
- They are being delivered and funded as part of our previous commitment to eradicate mental health dormitories and improve care for mental health inpatients. The scope of these schemes has expanded since the inception of the programme and they will deliver extensive brand new mental health facilities with significant numbers of beds, contributing to the government's commitment to deliver new hospitals.
- They are backed by a share of wider capital investments into mental health, including £150 million aimed at better mental health facilities linked to A&E and enhancing patient safety in mental health units.