Government says £13 million cash given to Vic is due to Brexit - a claim branded 'ludicrous'

A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
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Blackpool Victoria Hospital is to get £13 million extra cash from the government, which said Brexit means more money can be invested into the NHS.

Health secretary Matt Hancock this morning announced £963 million would be given to 75 projects aimed at upgrading "facilities so more people can be treated and more can be done to prevent ill-health in the first place".

The Vic will get £12.94m for the "Fylde Coast Emergency Department/Critical Care Scheme", it was announced, while the county's mental health trust Lancashire Care will get £8.139m for a "Fylde Coast Integrated Acute Mental Health Hub".

Both trusts have been approached for more information.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: "I understand the need to improve emergency care provision and to ensure individuals receive treatment in the most appropriate setting.

“In recent months I have spoken with the chief executive and chairman of the hospital trust and I am very much aware of the vision they have for the Accident and Emergency department.

“Improvements not only in Accident and Emergency but in the delivery of care for those who do not need to be admitted to hospital, are most welcome.

“It is important people are treated in the most appropriate location and improving step down care helps ensure hospital beds are available to those who need them most.”

He continued: "Following on from the Government’s announcement of a £2bn investment in mental health services, this local funding demonstrates a commitment to tackle this issue.

“I have heard from many constituents who have expressed their concerns over the ease of access to services. The funding of a service to support individuals in mental health crisis is most welcome.

“Alongside investment in early intervention, I hope this will deliver real improvements for people in Blackpool and across the Fylde coast.”

The Department of Health claimed in its press release "stopping sending money to the EU after EU Exit means we can invest more in domestic priorities, including our NHS".

But Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden dismissed that as being "ludicrous".

He said: "Any additional money for mental health in Lancashire is welcome. Who administers it and whether they are capable of administrating it is another matter.

"As far the idea this is simply a post-Brexit bonus is ludicrous and resembles the lies that were told on the 'Leave' bus about money going to the NHS, on which the government has been completely silent."

Mr Hancock said: "We want even more patients to receive world-class care in world-class NHS facilities and this near billion-pound boost – one of the most substantial capital funding commitments ever made – means that the NHS can do just that for years to come.

"This will not only support dedicated staff through the redevelopment and modernisation of buildings, but it will allow additional services to launch for the first time, improving patients’ access to care in their local area as part of our long-term plan for the NHS."

Lancashire Care has previously said it was looking at an extension of a mental health decision unit based at the Vic, where patients can be supported for up to 23 hours.

The shuttered Parkwood facility was also being considered as a "potential option" for the location of the extended service. It was not immediately clear whether this morning's announcement of a Fylde coast hub is related to those plans.