Mr Johnson’s Conservative Party Conference boast was echoed by then-Health Secretary Matthew Hancock, who said: “We protected the NHS through the peak of coronavirus. Today we recommit to protect the NHS for years to come with the 40 new hospitals we will build over the next decade.”
A Department of Health and Social Care press release following the 2020 Conservative Party Conference unveiled the details of the “40 new hospitals”. The pledge was to be delivered over the first 2 phases of the ‘Health Infrastructure Programme (HIP), with HIP1 to be completed by 2025. HIP1 covers the first six hospitals set to be rebuilt, renovated, improved or newly built, and the six have been allocated the necessary funding for the project from the initial £2.7billion injection into the scheme. Three of the projects in HIP1 were new hospitals.
The remaining 26 hospitals in phase 2 (HIP2), were set to be worked on between 2025-2030. No more than 15 were actual new hospitals, and their respective NHS trusts had collectively received only £100million in ‘seed funding’.
Finally, there were 8 new schemes which the Government was yet to choose and announce.
Mr Hancock’s claim that the government would build 40 new hospitals “over the next decade” was misleading.
When we asked Matt Hancock to respond to the analysis laid out in this website, a spokesperson said: “This list is false, wildly inaccurate, and in some cases possibly even defamatory. For example claiming that some of Matt's claims in the Commons were in defiance of the ministerial code, when they were in fact accurate. The priority throughout this unprecedented pandemic has been saving lives.”