'Utterly Damning': Boris Johnson's Promise To Build 40 New Hospitals 'To Be Broken'

Well there's a massive surprise.
Boris Johnson promised to build 40 new hospitals in 2019.
Boris Johnson promised to build 40 new hospitals in 2019.

Boris Johnson’s promise that the Tories would build 40 new hospitals by 2030 is set to be broken, a damning new report has revealed.

The National Audit Office assessment said only 32 of the projects are expected to be completed by the end of the decade.

They blamed delays for the damning failure, with building work yet to even start on the second wave of the scheme.

Opposition parties said the NAO report was “utterly damning”.

The 40 hospitals pledge was contained in the Tories’ 2019 election manifesto, when Johnson was still the prime minister.

Gareth Davies, head of the NAO, said: “The programme has innovative plans to standardise hospital construction, delivering efficiencies and quality improvements.

"However, by the definition the government used in 2020, it will now deliver 32 rather than 40 new hospitals by 2030."

Wes Streeting, Labour's shadow health secretary, said: "This shocking report could not be more damning of the failing new hospitals programme.

"The so-called 40 new hospitals are over-budget, behind schedule, and may be too small.

"Many are not ‘new’, others are not ‘hospitals’, and there aren’t 40 of them. In fact, just one hospital is on track to be built by the next election.

"The Conservatives have overpromised, under-delivered, and they’ve been found out. Meanwhile patients are being treated in outdated, crumbling hospitals.

Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: "This utterly damning report demolishes the government’s claims to be building 40 ‘new hospitals.’

“People are fed up with the Conservatives repeating empty promises and slogans, while patients are treated in crumbling hospital buildings in urgent need of repair."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: "The NAO’s report acknowledges that despite changes to the original programme, 40 new hospitals are still expected to be delivered by 2030 and praises the programme’s innovative plans to standardise hospital construction, deliver efficiencies and improve quality.

“We remain firmly committed to delivering these hospitals, which are now expected to be backed by over £20 billion of investment, helping to cut waiting lists so people can get the treatment they need quicker."

HuffPost UK revealed in December that a Sevanta ComRes poll showed that 27% of 2019 Tory voters are less likely to support the party again if the hospitals pledge was broken.

The Conservatives received 14 million votes at the last election, meaning they stand to lose around 3.8 million voters on that issue alone.


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