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£325 Million Invested In NHS Transformation Projects

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced £325m of funding for local NHS 'transformation plans', including millions for new 'primary care hubs'.

The funding will be handed to 15 of the ‘the strongest and most advanced' Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) over the next three years across England, to support a total of 25 local projects. The largest sums will be used for urgent care in Dorset, cancer care in Cumbria and surgery in Greater Manchester.

The new funding aims to deliver faster diagnosis, easier access to mental health care, shorter waits for surgery, expansion of A&Es, and more services in GP surgeries.

The government said that this initial tranche of funding has been targeted at the strongest and most advanced schemes in STPs with the plans rated for their high performance across indicators in hospital performance, patient-focused change and transformation.

The plans include:

  • Up to £30m to £50m will be used in Cumbria to improve access to chemotherapy and radiotherapy by setting up a brand new cancer centre at Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
  • Up to £50m will be made available in the Greater Manchester area to help hospitals deliver significant progresses in urgent and emergency care by concentrating services in four hub sites across the city. This change is expected to save around 300 live per year in general surgery alone.
  • Up to £30 million will be invested in Derbyshire to create an ‘Urgent Care Village’ at the Royal Derby with GP services, as well as implement improvements to the mental health system to ensure that patients receive the right care in the right place, first time.

Jeremy Hunt said that the new funding will support strong local plans to help the National Health Service modernise and transform care for patients.

He further added that a measure of success of these transformation partnerships is that people can see and feel improvements being made in their local area.

Commenting on the announcement, the Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Professor Helen-Stokes Lampard said that the STPs are crucial to delivering the GP Forward View in England. If they fail to prioritise general practice, it is only a matter of time before GPs and their teams collapse, with the rest of the NHS following closely behind.

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