£145 million to prepare for winter demand

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced a £145 million funding pot to help NHS trusts across the country ahead of winter to improve emergency care.

The funding, which comes from existing departmental budgets, will be spent on 81 new schemes to upgrade wards, redevelop A&E departments, improve same-day emergency care, improve systems for managing bed use and provide an extra 900 beds.

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. And through the long-term plan for the NHS we will go further, providing an extra £394 million a week by 2023/24 to transform care for patients and guarantee the future of our health service.”

Among those to benefit from the funding, the University Hospital of North Midlands will spend £8.82 million on two additional wards on the Royal Stoke site, while East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust will use £6.42 million to increase emergency care capacity at the William Harvey Hospital and at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital.

This investment follows the £36.3 million funding provided by the government for ambulances trusts to prepare for winter, which should pay for 256 new ambulances as well as ‘make ready’ hubs at ambulance trust headquarters to allow better restocking and maintenance of vehicles.

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