Boris Johnson promises 40 new hospitals as he boosts spending on the NHS

Boris Johnson has set out plans for 40 new hospitals as the Tories prepare to make the NHS a key battleground in the next general election.

With the Conservative Party conference opening in Manchester on Sunday, the Prime Minister said the Government was embarking on “the biggest hospital building programme in a generation”.

Conservative Party Conference
Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives, accompanied by partner Carrie Symonds, ahead of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, he said spending on the NHS was “absolutely central” to his vision of a “united society and a united country”.

Under the plans drawn up by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, he said they would be spending £13 billion on what officials described as “new” hospitals – either with entirely new buildings or gutting existing structures to create state-of-the-art facilities.

Taken alongside the extra £33.9 billion the Government has committed to the NHS each year by 2023, he said it was “the largest sum that has ever been invested in the NHS”.

He said: “We’re launching the biggest hospital building programme in a generation. You will have seen that on the steps of Downing Street I announced 20 new hospital upgrades.

“We’re now following that up with 40 new hospitals we’re going to be doing across the country. It’s the biggest programme of hospital building in a generation.”

He said the programme would begin with a £2.7 billion cash injection for six hospitals over the next five years.

The remaining projects, including up to a dozen smaller rural hospitals, would be completed over the second half of the next decade.

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