£250 million to boost NHS capacity with 900 new beds (2023)

  • £250 million of government funding has been allocated to NHS hospitals to increase capacity as part of the urgent and emergency care recovery plan
  • Funding will create 900 beds in hospitals to treat patients more quickly, and cut waiting lists
  • Part of plans to increase capacity and improve performance ahead of winter and deliver an additional 5,000 permanent beds

Nine hundred new hospital beds will be delivered across the NHS as part of £250 million government funding to help treat patients more quickly this winter, the Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, has announced today.

The funding has been awarded to NHS trusts to relieve pressures and help cut waiting lists, one of the government’s top 5 priorities.

Thirty NHS organisations across England will benefit from the investment in urgent and emergency care services. This includes developing or expanding urgent treatment centres and same day emergency care services which will help patients to be seen more quickly, without being admitted to hospital. NHS England expects that the majority of schemes will be completed by January 2024 to help deal with winter pressures.

This investment is part of the NHS urgent and emergency care recovery plan, published in January 2023, which set out plans to provide over 5,000 additional permanent, fully staffed hospital beds in total, with the NHS on track to deliver this by winter. These new 900 beds are part of this commitment.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:

Cutting waiting lists is one of my top 5 priorities, so this year the government has started planning for winter earlier than ever before and the public can be reassured we are backing the NHS with the resources it needs.

These 900 new beds will mean more people can be treated quickly, speeding up flow through hospitals and reducing frustratingly long waits for treatment.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said:

We know that winter is a difficult time so we’re working to get ahead of pressures while also creating a sustainable NHS fit for the future. That’s why we’re investing this £250 million to support NHS capacity and deliver 900 new beds, as part of our drive to put in place 5,000 permanent additional beds.

Creating additional hospital capacity will support staff to provide the best possible care and treat patients more quickly, helping us to improve waiting times and cut waiting lists - one of the government’s top 5 priorities.

Amanda Pritchard, NHS Chief Executive said:

Winter is always a busy time for the NHS and so it is right that we put robust plans in place as early as possible to boost capacity and help frontline staff to prepare for additional pressure.

Our winter plans, which build on the progress already made on our urgent and emergency care recovery plan, aim to reduce waiting times for patients and to transform services with an expansion of same day care and virtual wards, helping patients to be cared for in their own home where possible.

In total, the schemes will create 900 beds which includes over 60 intermediate care beds and improving assessment spaces and cubicles in A&E.

Examples of schemes include Peterborough City Hospital, where £12.5 million will be used to provide 72 hospital beds through the conversion of under-utilised non-clinical space. In London at the Northwick Park Hospital, a 32 bed modular acute medical ward is being created through a £22.6 million investment to increase the hospital’s capacity this winter.

Several trusts will develop or expand urgent treatment centres to treat patients more quickly, helping to reduce waiting times, including Hull Royal Infirmary, James Cook University Hospital, Airedale General Hospital and Worthing Hospital.

Some trusts will also use the funding to develop or expand same day emergency care services, including in Whipps Cross Hospital, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Croydon University hospital and Worthing Hospital. Same day emergency care services help to assess, diagnose and treat patients more quickly, without needing to be admitted to a hospital ward.

Health Minister Will Quince said:

Our urgent and emergency care recovery plan, backed by record funding, has already improved A&E performance and ambulance response times and we want to go further by putting in place the right solutions so the NHS can better cope with challenges this winter.

We will continue to work with integrated care systems to make sure the plan is delivering for patients this winter and beyond.

These measures will support the NHS’s recovery from the pandemic, and ensure that patients receive the care they need, when they need it.Alongside this, the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan will put the NHS on a sustainable footing by delivering the biggest training expansion in NHS history and recruiting and retaining hundreds of thousands more staff over the next 15 years.

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 plan also includes a commitment for 800 new ambulances, including specialist mental health ambulances to improve response times this winter.

The schemes will also operate alongside the NHS’s new ‘care traffic control’ centres which will identify and co-ordinate the best and quickest options for patients to be safely discharged from hospital when they’re ready - either at home or into social or community care.

The centres will bring together teams from across the NHS, social care, housing and voluntary services in one place to help make live decisions and offer patients everything they need in one place.

Earlier this month, the NHS announced its world-leading virtual ward programme would be expanding to children, with overall virtual ward bed numbers expected to hit 10,000 by the autumn.

This capital funding is on top of the existing investment as part of the urgent and emergency care recovery plan, with £1 billion of dedicated funding to support capacity in urgent and emergency services, building on the £500 million used last winter. The government has also invested £200 million into ambulance services to increase the number of ambulance hours on the road, as well as a further £1.6 billion of funding for social care to reduce the numbers of beds occupied by patients ready to be discharged.

Background information

The £250 million is capital funding to increase the number of beds and improve assessment spaces and cubicles in A&E. It is also being used to develop or expand urgent treatment centres and same day emergency care services.

The overall ambition for 5,000 additional core beds is being supported by £1 billion dedicated revenue funding to increase capacity in urgent and emergency care.

The full list of schemes is as follows:

Region Integrated care board (ICB) Trust Value £000s
East of England Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes​ Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust​ (FT) £3,000
East of England Cambridgeshire and Peterborough North West Anglia NHS FT £12,483
East of England Norfolk and Waveney​ Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust £19,300
London North East London Barts Health NHS Trust £2,654
London North East London Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust​ £3,000
London North West London London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust £22,622
London North West London Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS FT £2,879
London South East London​ King’s College Hospital NHS FT £3,880
London South East London​ Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust £10,621
London South West London Croydon Health Services NHS Trust £2,100
Midlands Coventry and Warwickshire George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust £15,145
Midlands Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland​ University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust £23, 997
Midlands Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust £9,856
Midlands Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin​ Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust​ £21,400
Midlands Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust £13,402
North East and Yorkshire Humber and North Yorkshire Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust £2,770
North East and Yorkshire North East and North Cumbria South Tees NHS FT £10,008
North East and Yorkshire South Yorkshire Barnsley Hospital NHS FT £2,400
North East and Yorkshire West Yorkshire Airedale NHS FT £4,116
North West Lancashire and South Cumbria Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHSFT £15,000
North West Lancashire and South Cumbria East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust £4,900
South East Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Buckingham Healthcare NHS Trust £10,580
South East Kent and Medway Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust £2,501
South East Kent and Medway Medway NHS FT £3,854
South East Surrey Heartlands Surrey and Sussex Hospital NHS Trust £6,000
South East Surrey Heartlands Royal Surrey NHS FT £2,818
South East Sussex University Hospitals Sussex NHS FT £4,496
South West Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire​ Sirona Care and Health CIC £4,920
South West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly​ Cornwall Partnership NHS FT £3,000
South West Devon University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust £5,000
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Frankie Dare

Last Updated: 07/07/2023

Views: 5956

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Frankie Dare

Birthday: 2000-01-27

Address: Suite 313 45115 Caridad Freeway, Port Barabaraville, MS 66713

Phone: +3769542039359

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Baton twirling, Stand-up comedy, Leather crafting, Rugby, tabletop games, Jigsaw puzzles, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Frankie Dare, I am a funny, beautiful, proud, fair, pleasant, cheerful, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.