Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced funding for three new health schemes in the BOB STP area (Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West), including the first unit in the area, designed to provide accommodation for patients with autism and learning disabilities.

The funding for the three schemes has been announced as part of £963 million being allocated to 75 new schemes across the country, to give more patients world-class care in world-class facilities - as part of a major investment in the long-term future of the NHS.

In the BOB STP area three major projects have received a total of £12.921m million.

Berkshire West: 12-bed mental health unit for children
  • £2.521 million for a new 12-bed mental health services inpatient wing for children within Berkshire’s mental health in-patient site at Prospect Park in partnership with Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (ICS)
  • This is being delivered in line with the NHS Mental Health Five Year Forward View to reduce reliance on children's out-of-area mental health placements, with care provided closer to home
  • The new unit will have a higher staffing ratio and will be a modern fit for purpose unit located within Berkshire’s mental health inpatient site at Prospect Park in Reading , Berkshire
Oxfordshire: 10 bed unit for patients with learning disabilities
  • £8.566 million for a 10 bed low secure inpatient unit designed for patients with learning disabilities, based at Oxford Health Foundation Trust
  • The unit will be designed to provide accommodation for patients with autism and learning disabilities. It will offer the first low secure learning disability beds within the BOB STP area
Oxfordshire: New delivery suite for planned (elective) caesarean-sections
  • £1.834 million to convert a procedure room to a theatre within the delivery suite at John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford University NHS Foundation Trust
  • This will improve patient care and release theatre capacity for gynaecology. It also supports delivery of the 52 week waits in gynaecology

Fiona Wise, BOB STP Executive Chair says: “We are delighted, as part of our Estates Strategy for the BOB STP area, that we have been successful in gaining national funding to develop a 50 bed facility, which will help children who need mental health support to be treated locally, the first local low- secure in-patient unit in the BOB area for those with learning disabilities and a new delivery suite for planned caesarean-sections”

The £963 million being allocated to 75 new health schemes across the country, will help upgrade facilities and increase capacity across NHS England, so more people can be treated; shifting the emphasis towards prevention. The investment comes ahead of the launch of the government’s long term plan for the NHS.

The long-term plan is the biggest ever funding increase for the NHS and will see its budget increase by £20.5 billion every year by 2023 to 2024.