Have you noticed how the Tories always manage to achieve plans that will profit them – on time, with a minimum of fuss – but never complete projects to help the population as a whole?
For example, their boast that they would build “40 new hospitals” by 2030 is now in tatters after Health Secretary Steve Barclay admitted that it simply isn’t going to happen.
In any case, the 40 projects weren’t in fact new hospitals anyway, as this extract from a 2022 article shows:
By their definition, of the Government’s 40 ‘new’ ones, 22 can be classed as rebuilding projects; 12 as new wings of existing hospitals; three rebuilds of non-urgent care hospitals; and three can truly be termed ‘new’ as people who speak the English language understand that word. Oh, but two of the three actually-new hospitals will open as old ones close, as replacements. Both were planned anyway, before 2019.
They only fit the government’s own criteria of what constitutes a new hospital, rather than conforming with those of the general population:
These criteria, according to the document, can include: “a major new clinical building on an existing site or a new wing of an existing hospital, provided it contains a whole clinical service, such as maternity or children’s services; or a major refurbishment and alteration of all but building frame or main structure, delivering a significant extension to useful life which includes major or visible changes to the external structure.”
The author of that article now has this to say about the Tory claim:
As I reported last year for @BylineTimes, the “40/48 new” hospitals, plans for which are now admitted to “lie in tatters”, could never actually have existed. They were part of a Johnsonian conspiracy of lies in which the @DHSCgovuk participated.https://t.co/jbtNdtPJZl
— Dr Rachel Morris 💙 #CitizenNotSubject (@FiveByFiveTimes) May 25, 2023
Despite the admission that the work isn’t going to happen within the 11 years that the Tories had given themselves to get it done in their 2019 manifesto, Barclay was still trying to kid us all that we would be getting 40 new hospitals at some time in the future, when the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg interviewed him today (Sunday, May 28, 2023):
40 new hospitals? Steve Barclay lying on #BBCLauraK pic.twitter.com/22rKYgwvwm
— Saul Staniforth (@SaulStaniforth) May 28, 2023
As you could hear, he was in fact referring to the hotchpotch of rebuilding projects, new wings and so on, described above.
His claim that patients would not mind, either way, is of course nonsense. In the UK, 7.3 million people are waiting for treatment and 40 fully-staffed, state-of-the-art new hospitals would have addressed that waiting list. A few new wings and replacements won’t.
It’s typical Tory policy.
They always prioritise what they want – and to hell with what you need.
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