Barts Health and Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Hospital trusts set for £45million extra loan funding from government
PUBLISHED: 12:08 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 29 October 2019
Two of east London's largest NHS hospital trusts are to receive £45million of additional capital loan funding from the government to help complete building upgrades and buy new equipment.
The loans are part of a nationwide package worth £184million announced by the Department for Health and Social Care on Tuesday, October 22, which the 13 hospital trusts chosen will repay at National Loan Fund rates - the same rate the government's own borrowing is linked to.
Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs Mile End, Whipps Cross and Newham hospitals, will receive £35.8million, while the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust - which runs Queen's Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes - will receive £9,012,000.
A government spokesman insisted the money will go towards some of the most urgent hospital upgrades to protect vital frontline patient care and will be vital in supporting hospital staff to provide the best quality care and reduce any safety or infrastructure risks..
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The loans will ensure that trusts are able to upgrade critical infrastructure and maintenance on buildings, as well as provide the right equipment for staff to carry out their work and provide better patient outcomes.
Announcing the loans package last week, health secretary Matt Hancock said: "These loans will make sure hospitals continue to deliver vital services to patients in buildings that are safe and have the right equipment to deliver world-class care.
"Since July, we have injected £4.8 billion capital funding into the NHS - helping refurbish hospital wards, replace old medical equipment and maintain NHS buildings."
Earlier this month (October 8), NHS providers published a report urging the government to make the scale of the health service's funding challenges more clear to the public.
The survey found that 72 per cent of NHS trust leaders were concerned about whether their trust could make the capital investment needed to maintain and modernise their own NHS estate and equipment.
Responding to that report, Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: "It's a damning indictment when NHS leaders running hospitals don't feel their trusts are properly resourced with enough staff and investment to meet the huge demand they are facing and provide the safe care patients deserve."