PM confirms £300 million in funding to prepare the NHS for winter pressures
The 117 NHS Trusts across England have today been allocated a share of £300 million to upgrade their facilities ahead of winter, the Prime Minister will confirm.
Hospitals could use the new funding to expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles, helping them boost A&E capacity by providing additional space, reducing overcrowding and improving infection control measures.
They could also increase the provision of same-day emergency care and improve patient flow in the hospital to help the NHS respond to winter pressures and the risk from further outbreaks of coronavirus, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) suggests.
Projects will be completed by the start of next year so hospitals benefit from the upgrades during the peak of winter. Last year, the PM also confirmed 20 hospitals will receive a share of £850 million to upgrade outdated facilities and equipment.
The PM will also urge the public to feel confident to visit A&E for the treatment they need, reassuring those who remain concerned that strict social distancing and hygiene measures are in place to protect patients.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We continue to deliver on our promise to build back better and faster, with £300 million allocated today for NHS trusts to upgrade their facilities and improve A&E capacity.
“These upgrades will help our fantastic NHS prepare for the winter months, helping them to deliver essential services and reduce the risk of coronavirus infections.
“Thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts of NHS staff throughout the pandemic, our A&Es have remained open for the public.
“It’s vital that those who need emergency treatment this winter access it, and for those who remain concerned about visiting hospitals, let me assure you that the NHS has measures in place to keep people safe.”
This funding forms part of an extra £1.5 billion capital funding announced by the PM.
Last month, the PM confirmed an additional £3 billion of funding to the NHS in England to get ready for winter. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will also receive additional funds.
This will allow the NHS to continue to use the extra hospital capacity acquired from the independent sector, maintain the Nightingale hospitals until the end of March and expand their flu vaccination programme.