Health secretary John Reid announces 15 new hospital schemes bringing spending on hospitals since 1997 to £16bn

The government is to build 15 new hospital developments worth £4bn. The schemes announced by health secretary John Reid will be funded largely through private finance initiatives. The 15 new developments include:

  • New mental health facilities for Leicestershire, Merseyside, and Teesside
  • A new cardiac research institute and upgraded cardiac wing for Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Modern new buildings for Papworth Hospital's cardiothoracic services.

The government said that the new spending will bring investment in new hospitals to more than £16bn since 1997.

Reid said: “The new hospital plans given the green light today represent the type of bright, modern, clean environments that all NHS patients should experience during their treatment.”

The largest of the new schemes will not go out to tender for another 12-18 months, according to a senior source at the Department of Health. The smaller schemes are likely to start going out to tender in 2005.

  • Three-quarters of nursing leaders say the design of their hospital deters new recruits. According to research by CABE 78% of nursing leaders say that the design and layout of their particular hospital is a major disincentive to recruitment. Exposure to artificial light was mentioned by nurses as one of the most draining aspects of working on a ward, and the ability to control the air temperature rather than rely on air conditioning systems, was also seen as important.