More A&E funding to help hospitals prepare for winter

£20.74 million more awarded to hospitals in England.

The Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt has today (15 June 2017) announced a second wave of funding to ease pressure on hospital emergency departments ahead of next winter.

The Secretary of State will confirm that a further £20.74 million has been awarded to 27 hospitals in England, which follows an initial £55.98 million given to 70 hospitals in April. This money is part of the dedicated funding announced in the Spring Budget to ensure local A&Es are prepared for the additional demands that winter brings.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

"The NHS prepares well in advance for winter each year, but despite the hard work and dedication of staff, demand on services continues to increase as a result of our ageing population.

"This vital investment will help hospitals change the way they assess and see patients so people are given the most appropriate medical care as quickly as possible."

The funding will be used to help hospitals properly equip themselves ahead of winter, particularly to handle the large volumes of patients attending A&E.

Hospitals will be able to ‘stream’ patients when they arrive in A&E, with a clinician assessing their needs and deciding where they can receive the most appropriate care.

It will also allow hospitals to build GP practices within their A&E units where patients with less urgent needs can receive treatment, further alleviating pressure.

Today’s funding will also support wider plans set out by NHS England to improve A&E performance in England by 2018. In particular, it will help hospitals hit the target of admitting, transferring or discharging 95% of patients within 4 hours.