NHS leader brands 'new' hospital pledge 'misleading' but will take 'anything to be honest'

3 July 2022, 13:26

NHS Confed. boss brands 'new' hospital pledge 'misleading'

By Tim Dodd

The CEO of the NHS Confederation Matthew Taylor has told Swarbrick on Sunday that the government's 'new' hospital building pledge is "misleading" but that they will take "anything to be honest" because of the state of some of their hospitals.

Boris Johnson's election pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030 is facing a review by the Government's official spending watchdog, The National Audit Office (NAO), which is planning a "value for money review" that could consider increasing costs due to spiralling inflation and whether the hospitals will in fact be new.

In guidance sent to NHS trusts last year, the Department of Health and Social Care defined a "new" hospital as a "whole new hospital on a new site or current NHS land", "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".

Tom Swarbrick asked Mr Taylor if the government were "lying" about building 40 'new' hospitals.

"The government has redefined what it means by 'new' hospitals, so whether or not you think they're lying depends on what your categorisation is," he said.

"I think the general public understand a new hospital is a brand new hospital, in those terms it is misleading but to be fair to the government, for a number of years now they have sought to clarify exactly what they mean by this.

"And if you're in the health service, look - a new wing, an upgraded A&E, a hospital that's had dangerous parts of itself repaired. We'll take anything to be honest, because so much of our estate is not in the condition we need it to be in."

Read more: Boris Johnson 'not aware of specific allegations' made against Pincher, minister says

On the government's pledge, Mr Taylor said: "There was a promise of 48 new hospitals. It was initially 40 and then it went up to 48. Then a further promise that six of those hospitals would be completed by 2025. None of those are now going to be completed. And in fact, no work has even started in most cases."

Mr Taylor also said that there are hospitals that are in a "very poor condition", with some suffering from a "particular problem in terms of the concrete in those hospitals".

"There are genuine risks for patients. There're dangers that those hospitals have to close elements of themselves down," he said.

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

A sister has described the moment she punched a crocodile to save her sister.

'I wasn't going to leave her behind': Twin recalls punching crocodile to save sister

Susan Hall has dismissed Ed Miliband's claim that she would be an 'embarrassment' to Britain as the next London mayor.

Susan Hall dismisses as 'nonsense’ after Ed Miliband said she would be an ‘embarrassment’ as London Mayor

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's deputy tells LBC, amid warning members have 'neglected defence'

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's Deputy General tells LBC, as he warns Russia 'cannot be trusted'

Emma Webber (left) speaking to LBC

Mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber blasts police ‘mistruths’ after force is put in special measures

Lord Harrington said there should be a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington calls for a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick