News

10.09.18

NHS trusts to receive £145m for emergency care ahead of winter chaos

The government will give more than £145m to NHS trusts across the country in order to improve emergency care ahead of the winter months.

The funding from the department of health and social care’s budget will go towards upgrading wards and redeveloping A&E departments, as well as 900 extra beds.

The money will be spent on 81 new schemes in total, which also includes improving same-day emergency care and improving systems for managing the numbers of beds in use.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said: “Staff put in a huge amount of work preparing our health service for the challenge of treating more patients over winter and it’s right that we make sure they have the resources they need so people receive the care they deserve.

“That’s why I will be providing an additional £145 million now to upgrade wards, redevelop A&Es and further improve emergency care in time for winter.”

Through his long-term plan for the NHS, Hancock said the government will provide an extra £20.5b a year by 2023 to 2024, transforming care for patients.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation Niall Dickson has welcomed the government’s announcement of extra emergency care funding ahead of winter.

Dickson said: "This will make a difference and will be welcomed by our members. It is also an acknowledgement of the intolerable strain faced by too many patients and staff last winter.

“NHS hospitals had to open extra beds, cancel operations and manage overwhelmed emergency departments. They were faced with a tsunami of patients including many more who were seriously ill. The ambulance service was also at full stretch.

“Had it not been for extensive planning and co-operation across the system, it would have been a lot worse.”

Earlier this year the government provided £36.3m to ambulances ahead of winter, paying for 256 new ambulances as well as ‘make ready’ hubs at ambulance trust headquarters.

Last year’s winter saw “extremely challenging conditions” for NHS trusts, with winter pressures the highest since records began.

Over 8,000 patients were forced to wait on trolleys for over four hours in A&E in January, with more than 1,000 waiting over 12 hours.

General and acute bed occupancy was at a whopping 94.4% with an average of 20 trusts having over 99% occupancy each day.

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Image credit - Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

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