Hospitals plan ­ costs questioned

Posted on March 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

The wisdom of the £3.1 billion hospital building programme, announced announced in February by Health Secretary Alan Milburn, has been questioned by the Registered Nursing Home Association (RNHA). The association, which represents more than 1,000 nursing homes, has doubts about whether the new build programme is the most cost-effective way of meeting demands for health care. Largely funded through the private finance initiative, the new-build scheme will lead to about 3,000 new acute hospital and intermediate care beds being created ­ an investment which, the RNHA says, will ultimately cost the taxpayers more than £1 million per additional bed created. RNHA chief executive officer Frank Ursell has asked why the Government does not intend to make better use of the thousands of empty beds already available in nursing homes. “While most people would support extra spending on health care to bring the UK up to the European average, the underlying issue is whether the money is being spent wisely,” Mr Ursell said

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