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Health Health

Build and upgrade primary care facilities, mental health clinics and hospitals in every part of England

Last updated: 11:32am 11 July 2019

We will put this right and enable more care to be delivered closer to home, by building and upgrading primary care facilities, mental health clinics and hospitals in every part of England. Over the course of the next parliament, this will amount to the most ambitious programme of investment in buildings and technology the NHS has ever seen.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.67

Our verdict

The focus of this policy is on investing in the buildings and technology of the NHS, with a clear commitment that upgrades will be made “in every part of England” and that the investment will be “the most ambitious…ever seen”.

Only when this “ambitious” investment occurs across England, and to support all three types of NHS facilities mentioned, can the policy be said to be ‘done’.

Since the election, the government has launched the NHS Long Term Plan, which outlines how the latest NHS budget will be spent over the next five years.

The plan outlines increases in funding for primary and community care, £4.5 billion by 2023/24. Detail regarding improvements to NHS buildings or how spending will be distributed throughout England is less clear.

However, there is more detail regarding technological improvements. Funding for additional devices to speed up scanning for cancer and improve outpatient and other specialist services is outlined. Particularly ambitious are plans for a digital transformation across the NHS, with, for example, online GP consultations becoming every patient’s right over the next five years, and the ongoing roll-out of the NHS app. The policy becomes more vague the further into the future, with a ten-year vision in which people are increasingly cared for at home using remote monitoring and wearable devices.

The long-term nature of the plan means we will not know for some time yet whether this policy has been delivered. But based on initiatives outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan, this policy can be said to be ‘in progress’. We’ll keep tracking developments, particularly looking for evidence of action on the promise to invest in buildings, so follow this policy for updates.

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