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House of Commons Hansard
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NHS Funding (Autumn Budget)
19 December 2017
Volume 633
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6. What his priorities are for the additional funding allocated to the NHS in autumn Budget 2017. [903018]

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14. What his priorities are for the additional funding allocated to the NHS in autumn Budget 2017. [903027]

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The autumn Budget committed to backing the NHS, so that by 2019-20, it will have received an additional £2.8 billion of revenue funding for frontline services, including £337 million for winter allocated last Friday and £3.5 billion of new capital investment by 2022-23 to transform the estate.

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I welcome the recent Budget announcement of billions more funding for the NHS, particularly the extra support to prepare for the winter. Will the Minister tell me what share of funding my local hospital will attain this winter?

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My hon. Friend needs to be congratulated in this House on being a champion of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust. The trust has been through some difficulty, and he has stuck with it and supported it. I can confirm that the trust was allocated up to £2 million of funding last Friday; I congratulate it on that. I am sure that he would also join me in congratulating the trust on recently being awarded the title of the eighth most inclusive employer in the UK.

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Does my hon. Friend share my delight at the £41 million capital allocation that was announced in the recent Budget? Does he agree that that huge sum of money will enable us not only to maintain the present excellent services at Southend hospital, but to enhance and develop them further for the benefit of all local residents?

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My hon. Friend has worked tirelessly with his neighbouring colleagues in Essex to secure not only the £41 million to which he refers. In fact, that figure is a component of the £118 million capital allocation made to the Mid and South Essex Sustainability and Transformation Partnership area in the Budget. This will provide significant investment not only in his local hospital in Southend, as he as mentioned, but in Basildon and in Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford. I am sure that he and his colleagues in Essex welcome that.

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My local clinical commissioning group in north Derbyshire has been placed in special measures by NHS England. It has been forced to cut £16 million over just six months and to bring forward the closure of the Spencer ward in Buxton before any proper alternative is in place due to a lack of funding. Does the Minister not agree that the Budget funding is too little, too late?

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The hon. Lady will be aware that the special measures regime was introduced to help trusts that are having difficulty in meeting quality performance standards to improve their quality. They receive support from NHS Improvement in order to do that. If she would like to write to me with the specific details of her trust’s situation, I would be happy to take up the case. But as far as I am concerned, her trust is on an improvement journey.

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Given that about a quarter of the additional funding goes to patients with neurological conditions—from strokes to Parkinson’s —what steps is the Minister taking to reduce the often appalling delays between the onset of disease and access to occupational and physical therapy? Will he agree to meet a charity from my constituency of Twickenham called Integrated Neurological Services, which is saving lives and money by drastically reducing that timeline?

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The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that centralising cardiac services in particular into acute cardiac hospitals is having a significant impact on improving access to treatment by reducing the time it takes to get diagnostic tests and initial treatment, and is therefore saving lives. Specialisation is working in London and in other parts of the country where it is being applied. I am sure that he would welcome the recent allocation to Kingston Hospital of up to £1.3 million to help with winter pressures.

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The Minister visited Kettering General Hospital earlier this year and saw for himself that a record number of patients are being treated with increasingly world-class treatments. Will he confirm that the hospital will get £2.6 million to cope with winter pressures this year?

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My hon. Friend never fails to highlight the success of Kettering General Hospital. I am delighted to confirm that £2.6 million will be available for that hospital this winter. We are working hard with the hospital management, through the special measures regime, to improve performance in that trust.

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Bed occupancy rates across London last winter were running very near to 100%, including at Whipps Cross University Hospital in my constituency. With the much-vaunted extra funding, what will the bed occupancy rate have been by the end of this winter?

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Bed occupancy rates are high at this time, not least following the recent cold snap, which has put additional pressure on hospital trusts. We have used some of the funding provided in the March Budget to increase the rates of delayed transfers of care to improve patient flow throughout all hospitals, and that has led to a slight reduction in bed occupancy in the run-up to winter.