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More funding targeted to help English A&Es prepare for winter

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A further 19 hospitals in England are to receive a tranche of extra funding for emergency care over the coming winter, the government has announced.

The Department of Health has announced the names of the acute trusts that have been given part of what it described as a “cash injection” from a pot totalling around £13m for emergency care.

“This funding will give more hospitals the boost they need to streamline patient flow in A&E”

Philip Dunne

The money is intended to be targeted at improving patient flow through accident and emergency, to help ensure departments are prepared for “busy times during winter”, noted the DH.

For example, the government highlighted investing in the “necessary” equipment or infrastructure so that hospitals will be able to target improvements to patient flow and relieve pressure on A&E.

It said the additional funding announced on Friday brought the total given to hospitals since April to over £90m, which forms part of the dedicated funding announced in the spring budget.

This round has given 19 hospitals a share of £13.34m, following £20.74m given to 27 hospitals in June, and £55.98m given to 70 hospitals in April – giving a total of 116 hospitals so far.

The funding is intended to support NHS England’s wider plans to improve A&E performance in England by 2018. In particular, the DH said it would help hospitals hit the four-hour target for admitting, transferring or discharging 95% of patients.

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Phillip Dunne

Health minister Philip Dunne said: “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of staff, the NHS has put in place strong plans ahead of winter – ensuring patients continue to receive safe and efficient care as demand rises over the coming months.

“This funding will give more hospitals the boost they need to streamline patient flow in A&E, freeing up A&Es to care for the sickest patients and helping make sure all patients get the right treatment in the right place as quickly as possible,” he added.

The biggest lots of funding will go to Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Whittington Health NHS Trust, which will both get £1m each.

In contrast, the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, which is part of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, will get just £54,000.

“Improving access and flow in this way is a key part of our long-term strategy”

Richard Sunley

Scunthorpe General Hospital in Lincolnshire is to receive an extra £900,000 to help speed up treatment of patients attending its A&E department.

Richard Sunley, deputy chief executive of Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, said the money would be used to improve streaming services.

“Improving access and flow in this way is a key part of our long-term strategy,” he said. “Streaming is especially useful in ensuring people are seen by the right people in a timely manner.

He said: “This money will enable us to place GPs within our accident and emergency department at Scunthorpe and this will mean patients coming to A&E can be seen either by a GP, if appropriate or, in the case of an accident or emergency, by our team of dedicated emergency doctors and nurses.”

The funding announcement comes after a warning earlier this month from the trust regulator NHS Improvement, which said that high hospital bed occupancy rates must be addressed as a matter of urgency before winter pressures kick in.

It followed the publication of data on NHS providers’ performance from April to June this year, which shows “extremely high” levels of bed occupancy.

List of agreed proposals

  • Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust – £981,000
  • Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust – £150,000
  • South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust – £875,000
  • Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (Fairfield General Hospital) – £223,000
  • Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust – £900,000
  • St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – £979,500
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust – £530,000
  • Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (North Manchester General Hospital) – £375,000
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust – £925,000
  • University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust – £190,900
  • Isle of Wight NHS Trust – £714,401
  • Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Royal Hampshire County Hospital) – £54,000
  • Medway NHS Foundation Trust – £1,000,000
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust – £999,000
  • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – £961,500
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts (West Middlesex University Hospital) – £882,000
  • Whittington Health NHS Trust – £1,000,000
  • London North West Healthcare NHS Trust – £642,000
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust (submitted jointly on behalf of all London type 1 A&Es) – £998,000

 

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