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Petition Fund a second General Hospital including an A&E department in Cornwall

We want the Government to "level up" Cornwall, by building a second hospital to cope with the ever-increasing demand resulting from the creation of new housing and the growth of tourism.

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Rapid and significant population growth in Cornwall has overwhelmed the existing public service infrastructure including the NHS. The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro is in a constant state of crisis. Demand for services, beds and particularly A&E far exceeds capacity.

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Government responded

This response was given on 19 October 2021

Our Health Infrastructure Plan sets out our approach to improving hospitals and health infrastructure to ensure our healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

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The government wants to make sure that the population in the region has proper access to existing public service infrastructure. Significant capital has already been invested and will continue to be invested in the region. As such, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s new women’s and children’s hospital in Truro has been given the go-ahead with their plans being developed and which will be subject to business case approval. Application for new hospitals need to be part of the programme for new hospitals and follow the formal application process. This requires service planning and prioritisation at system level through their Integrated Care Systems (ICSs). Applications for 8 further new hospital schemes have recently been submitted to the department and are currently under review. Funding for new hospitals beyond this commitment will depend on future capital funding settlements through the Treasury Spending Review.

Our Health Infrastructure Plan (HIP), first published in September 2019, is a strategic long-term investment to ensure our world-class healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

We have committed to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion. Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals by the end of the decade, the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

The 48 hospitals we will build, in addition to the 20 upgrades to hospitals already promised, together represent investment in infrastructure across the whole country, another example of this Government’s mission to level up.

These commitments will result in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for both staff and patients that are the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving excellence in patient care.

In July, for the next wave of the programme, the Department of Health and Social Care invited expressions of interests from mental health, community and acute NHS trusts; the submission deadline has now passed. We aim to announce the successful schemes in spring 2022, following a thorough selection process. As such, it would not be appropriate to pre-judge that process at this stage in respect of a second District General Hospital for Cornwall, or any other area, while that selection process is underway.

The selection process will prioritise plans for:

o services which transform joined up care for people and provide an effective working environment for NHS staff, in line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan;

o fair allocations of investment to level up across regions and provide value for money; and

o stronger and greener NHS buildings that make the most of modern methods of construction to support sustainable, greener and efficient design.

All the new hospitals will benefit from being part of the Government’s nationally led programme under the Health Infrastructure Plan, ensuring the programme delivers value for money for use of the limited national public funding envelope available.

Experience will be shared across the schemes in the programme so they can be built as quickly as possible while prioritising standardisation, digital technology, sustainability and modern methods of construction.

This selection process will also inform the ongoing pipeline of investment through this programme, subject to future funding settlements.

More broadly, the Government has provided recent wider investment in the Cornwall area, which includes:

o Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) received £2.8 million as part of our £450 million of A&E upgrades. From this funding, Royal Cornwall Hospital doubled the size of its resus in order to safely manage both expected service demand and improve the efficiency of patient flow.

o RCHT received £1.726 million from our £600 million Critical Infrastructure Risk fund to tackle backlog maintenance.

o RCHT ordered one CT scanner in 2019-20 as part of our replacement of diagnostics machines more than 10 years old.

o Oncology & MRI Re-provision (Clinical Site Development Plan Phase 2): The project is now one of the 20 Upgrades Schemes. RCHT received central capital funding of £31.32 million to make improvements to the Oncology/Haematology Ward and the MRI Department. The construction end date is currently scheduled for December 2022.

o RCHT Peripheral Site Optimisation: The Trust received £9.1million to improve clinical facilities and eradicate backlog maintenance.

Department of Health and Social Care

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/586188)

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Original Government response

Our Health Infrastructure Plan sets out our approach to improving hospitals and health infrastructure to ensure our healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

Our Health Infrastructure Plan, first published in September 2019, is a strategic long-term investment to ensure our world-class healthcare system and staff have the world-class facilities needed for the future.

We have committed to build 40 new hospitals by 2030, backed by an initial £3.7 billion. Together with eight existing schemes, this will mean 48 hospitals by the end of the decade, the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.

The 48 hospitals we will build, in addition to the 20 upgrades to hospitals already promised, together represent investment in infrastructure across the whole country, another example of this Government’s mission to level up.

These commitments will result in outdated infrastructure being replaced by facilities for both staff and patients that are the cutting edge of modern technology, innovation and sustainability, driving excellence in patient care.

Currently, the national programme comprises 8 pre-existing schemes and 40 new hospitals, totalling 48 hospitals. In October 2020, the government named 32 hospitals which will form part of the 40 new hospitals and is now calling for NHS trusts to submit their expressions of interest to be one of the next 8 hospitals.

Expressions of interest are invited from all NHS trusts in England who would like their plans to be considered.

This is the first of a two-stage selection process. It will be followed by a more detailed process for long-listed schemes later in the year. We aim to make a final decision in spring 2022.

The selection process will prioritise plans for:

  • services which transform joined up care for people and provide an effective working environment for NHS staff, in line with the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan;

  • fair allocations of investment to level up across regions and provide value for money; and

  • stronger and greener NHS buildings that make the most of modern methods of construction to support sustainable, greener and efficient design.

All the new hospitals will benefit from being part of the Government’s nationally led programme under the Health Infrastructure Plan, ensuring the programme delivers value for money for use of the limited national public funding envelope available.

Experience will be shared across the schemes in the programme so they can be built as quickly as possible while prioritising standardisation, digital technology, sustainability and modern methods of construction.

This selection process will also inform the ongoing pipeline of investment through this programme, subject to future funding settlements.

More broadly, the Government has provided recent wider investment in the Cornwall area, which includes:

  • A new Women’s and Children’s Hospital, in the centre of the Royal Cornwall Hospital site in Truro, which will be one of the 40 new hospitals to be built by 2030.

  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust (RCHT) received £2.8 million as part of our £450 million of A&E upgrades. From this funding, Royal Cornwall Hospital doubled the size of its resus in order to safely manage both expected service demand and improve the efficiency of patient flow.

  • RCHT received £1.726 million from our £600 million Critical Infrastructure Risk fund to tackle backlog maintenance.

  • RCHT ordered one CT scanner in 2019-20 as part of our replacement of diagnostics machines more than 10 years old.

  • Oncology & MRI Re-provision (Clinical Site Development Plan Phase 2): The project is now one of the 20 Upgrades Schemes. RCHT received central capital funding of £31.32 million to make improvements to the Oncology/Haematology Ward and the MRI Department. The construction end date is currently scheduled for December 2022.

  • RCHT Peripheral Site Optimisation: The Trust received £9.1million to improve clinical facilities and eradicate backlog maintenance.

Department of Health and Social Care

This response was given on 2 September 2021. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

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