HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has launched the biggest hospital building programme in a generation, as well as funding in Worcestershire for a new, specialist mental health pilot.

The Department of Health has confirmed that even though six hospitals have been announced to receive funding, the package will be open to many more, including the Worcestershire Acute Trust, which runs the Alexandra Hospital.

Redditch MP Rachel Maclean is now strongly pushing the trust to come forward with shovel-ready plans for the Government to fund, without which no cash can be provided.

As part of the new Health Infrastructure Plan, dozens of hospitals are set to be upgraded and a fund to improve critical infrastructure established.

The package also includes £900m to deliver major improvements in health tech, and £200 million to replace MRI, CT scanners and breast cancer screening equipment, so no scanner in the NHS is more than 10 years old.

Rachel said: “At a time of record investment in our NHS, it is crucial we invest in better facilities as well as in staff, training, medicines and treatments. I have called for services lost to Worcester to be brought back to Redditch, hosted debates in the House and held meetings with the Health Secretary and his advisors to make the case, and I hope this announcement will create the opportunity for that campaign to move forward.

The MP also welcomed new models of personalised care due to be rolled out to tackle adult mental illness and was pleased Worcestershire and Herefordshire were chosen as areas of the country to pilot new specialist NHS mental health care, with the NHS to recruit 1,000 extra specialist staff to treat mental health issues.

She added: "I’ve also long campaigned for more investment in mental health, bringing it in line with physical health, and I am delighted we are one of the pilots for that.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I’ve spent the past two months visiting hospitals across the country, and I’ve seen first-hand the need to invest in our hospitals.

“When I became Prime Minister, I promised to make sure money for the NHS gets directly to the front line, so patients consistently receive world-class care and NHS staff have the resources they need to provide this incredible service day in, day out.

“We’re already delivering on this, upgrading hospitals across the country. And now we’re investing more money to support our NHS. We’re providing additional funding for 40 new hospitals to be built over the next decade. This will transform our NHS for millions of patients and hard-working staff.”