June 14, 2019 1.03 pm This story is over 28 months old

Local Democracy Weekly: £450m price tag for change in Lincolnshire’s NHS

The price for change

The cost of changing Lincolnshire’s health services was always going to be significant. But when the figures for how much money the county’s health bosses would need for a proposed shake-up, it was revealing.

The much talked about acute services review conducted by the Lincolnshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership outlined a number of changes for how hospitals could deliver healthcare.

It was met with controversy, concern and emotion when revealed in March 2019 as the Healthy Conversation, but officials insisted it was necessary.

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Since then, little has been known on how exactly the changes would be delivered and how much they will cost.

That was until this week when Sarah Furley, programme director for the Lincolnshire STP, sat before the Health Scrutiny Panel for Lincolnshire to explain the current financial situation.

The overall changes to the region’s hospitals will cost £450 million over the next decade. The majority of that figure is down to maintenance and renovation of existing NHS buildings.

Lincoln County Hospital Photo: Steve Smailes/Lincolnshire Reporter

Meanwhile, the list of proposals outlined in the services review will cost £52 million alone. It’s a lot of money and will go towards making a significant change in how healthcare is delivered in the county.

But, the STP does not have the money yet. In fact, it failed in a bid last year for capital funding for the projects, such as a £4.7 million expansion of the breast unit at Lincoln County Hospital.

Mrs Furley said she was “confident in Lincolnshire’s story” and the organisation would be prepared for another round of funding. She also did not rule out other avenues of finance, such as partnerships with other public sector organisations.

Whether you agree with it or not, it’s an ambitious project which would change the face of healthcare in the region. But, without the backing, the engagement events, leaflets and committee meetings will have been futile.

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