Bolstering NHS capacity with modular facilities

Helen Marshall discusses how modular facilities are helping the NHS to upgrade capacity. Backed by a boost in funding, they are expected to help relieve waiting list pressures, but they are more than a quick fix.

Upgrading capacity within the NHS is one of the key ways we will reduce waiting lists and offer care to a rising number of patients. New hospitals and theatres require extensive funding, and waiting lists continue to build up over the years that it takes to complete construction.

Modular units offer a way of increasing the capacity of diagnostics and wards that can be rapidly deployed and easily installed. These units are not just a quick fix; modular units can last decades and represent a significant evolution in healthcare infrastructure. For the NHS, these benefits translate into faster response times to capacity demands, whether for patient care, administrative offices, or even specialised units like laboratories and pharmacies.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, modular units were instrumental in expanding hospital capacities, showcasing their potential to support the NHS during crises. The future for modular units is bright, with multiple routes for Trusts to access modular solutions, and a rebooted framework for 2025 expanding to £3.6 billion.

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