£250 million to boost NHS capacity with 900 new beds

£250 million in funding announced to boost NHS capacity

£250 million in funding has been announced to help boost NHS capacity as part of the urgent and emergency care recovery plan, with part of the funding to go towards the creation of 900 hospital beds.

30 NHS organisations are set to benefit from the funding, which will also see the development or expansion of urgent treatment centres and same day emergency care services. With the intention of having these schemes completed by January 2024 to ease the burden of winter pressures, this funding is on top of the existing £1 billion in revenue funding dedicated to increasing capacity in urgent and emergency care.

Schemes include £12.5 million for 72 beds at Peterborough City Hospital by converting “under-utilised non-clinical space”; £22.6 million for a 32-bed modular acute medical ward at Northwick Park Hospital; the development or expansion of urgent treatment centres at locations including Hull Royal Infirmary, James Cook University Hospital, Airedale General Hospital and Worthing Hospital; and the development or expansion of same-day emergency care services including at Whipps Cross Hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Croydon University hospital and Worthing Hospital. 

The announcement states that patients are “already seeing improvements as a result of the urgent and emergency care recovery plan, backed by record funding – with average Category 2 ambulance response times down by 27 minutes on July last year, and down by 60 minutes on the peak of winter pressures seen in December 2022”.

The full list of sites set to benefit from the funding can be found here.

The opening of six new ambulance hubs and the opening or upgrading of 42 discharge lounges nationwide was announced in June, as part of efforts to tackle urgent and emergency care waiting times.

Last month, the NHSE Board meeting offered insights into operational performance including improvements in operational delivery across urgent and emergency care services, including the reduction in length of stay over 14 days.