BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said:
“While new money towards hospitals is welcome, given that only £1.6bn of money in this announcement is new money, there are serious questions over how this will actually stretch to 40 hospitals.
“This falls significantly below estimates1 that experts have made on what it actually takes to build 40 new hospitals so the Government must be very clear about what they are actually delivering for the public. This must not detract from the urgent need for investment in primary care and community care which are experiencing a significant increase in demand. There is also a need for funding for community diagnostic services and improvements to digital infrastructure to ensure the effective delivery of care in the future.
“With much of the existing health service experiencing serious staff shortages, new hospitals will also need new staff. As well as boosting the workforce as it stands, the Government must also be realistic about the scale of what is required to staff these new hospitals sufficiently and factor this into its long-term workforce strategy.
“Pledges are no good without the funding to back them up. At a time when the NHS is in desperate need of investment with a serious backlog of care to work through, the Prime Minister must be upfront about how much money is needed and where this money is coming from.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
- The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the cost of the 40 hospitals could reach £24bn. Sally Gainsbury, a senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust health thinktank, said the 40 could cost £17bn.
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