[/news/boris_johnson/index.html Boris Johnson] has set out funding for 32 of the 40 'new' [/news/nhs/index.html NHS] hospitals he promised in his 2019 manifesto.
The Prime Minister won headlines with his promise to voters last September that he would build '40 new hospitals across England over the next decade' if they handed his party its fourth election win in a row.
But it turned out many of the projects included refurbishments of existing hospitals, with only six trusts actually being rebuilt.
In an announcement today, Mr Johnson boasted he would be pumping £3.7billion into 32 trusts across England, with a further eight schemes invited to bid for future funding.
The premier said the coronavirus pandemic had brought into focus how important it was to 'build back better', one of Mr Johnson's favourite new tripartite slogans.
But more than half of the projects are either rebuilds of existing hospitals, or building a hospital on the site of one that already exists.
Boris Johnson has announced a £3.7billion drive to improve or rebuild 40 hospitals in England by 2030 following a decade of brutal Tory cuts to the health service
While the government has committed to fully fund all 40 projects, that money won't be available for several years.
At the moment only six have received cash to go ahead.
Mr Johnson said: 'The dedication and tireless efforts of our nurses, doctors and all healthcare workers have kept the NHS open throughout this pandemic.
'But no matter what this virus throws at us we are determined to build back better and deliver the biggest hospital building programme in a generation.
'From Morpeth to Milton Keynes, we are building 40 new hospitals across England to level up our NHS so more people have top-class healthcare services in their local area.'
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Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, 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.
'I love the NHS and I will do all I can to make sure it is there for you and your family over the years to come.
'The biggest hospital building programme in a generation will help protect the NHS long into the future.'
Of the 32 sites listed today, 11 are in the South West and five are in London. By comparison there are three in the Midlands, three in the South East, two in the North West, and two in the North East and Yorkshire.
It comes as cancer checks, heart scans and blood tests are set to be carried out in hundreds of NHS 'one stop shops' on high streets across the country.
The diagnostic hubs will allow patients to have vital checks close to their home - while ensuring hospitals are left clear for serious care.
Empty shops in town centres and retail parks will be targeted for the scheme which will see 160 centres set up to deliver MRI and CT scans, X-rays, ultrasounds and blood tests.
This will allow doctors to quickly diagnose conditions such as cancer, heart disease, strokes and breathing problems.
In time they could be also used for breast cancer screening, antenatal ultrasound scans, ear tests and eye tests.
Health bosses last night stressed the centres would be 'Covid-free', hopefully giving patients confidence they will be safe from the virus.
Officials are increasingly concerned that thousands of patients died during the first lockdown because they were afraid of going to hospital.
The toll is expected to grow in the coming years because cases of cancer, heart disease or diabetes that were not diagnosed will escalate until they are impossible to treat.
Figures published by Breast Cancer Now this week revealed nearly one million women had missed out on mammograms because screening programmes had been paused.
Professor Sir Mike Richards was commissioned by NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens to review diagnostic services.
His report, presented to the NHS at a board meeting yesterday, said establishing these centres would be quicker and safer for patients.
Sir Mike, who was the first NHS national cancer director and the Care Quality Commission's chief inspector of hospitals, said: 'The pandemic has brought into sharper focus the need to overhaul the way our diagnostic services are delivered.
'Not only will these changes make services more accessible and convenient for patients but they will help improve outcomes for patients with cancer and other serious conditions.'
His report also called for a major boost in staffing, with 2,000 radiologists and 4,000 radiographers needed, as well as other support staff.
Officials said the proposals would be implemented with some to be introduced with immediate effect and incorporated into the NHS post-pandemic 'recovery plans'.
Several testing hubs are set to be introduced in the coming weeks.
Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said: 'Doing these checks in the community rather than in hospital could support trusts as they grapple with a second wave of Covid-19, winter pressures and tackling backlogs of care.' The wider plan will be implemented over the next five years.
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