Dr Ben Spencer MP has welcomed news that St Peter’s Hospital is set to receive an additional £6 million to support A&E capacity ahead of the winter months, as part of £450 million provided by the Government to upgrade A&Es this winter.
The additional funds will be used to expand and upgrade A&E facilities and the Urgent Treatment Centre at St Peter’s Hospital, ensuring they have enough space to treat patients, manage patient flow and improve infection control. It is part of £150 million to be shared across 25 A&Es, with the money being used to expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles. This is on top of the £300 million provided by the Government to upgrade A&Es announced in August – taking the total additional investment in A&Es this winter to £450 million.
In June, the Prime Minister announced plans to accelerate £5 billion of infrastructure spending. This funding forms part of the New Deal, which allocated a total of £1.5 billion this year for hospital maintenance, hospital building and A&E expansion. The funding also comes on top of the additional £3 billion that the Prime Minister recently announced to help prepare the NHS for the winter months ahead. This funding will allow the NHS to continue to use the from extra hospital capacity acquired the independent sector through the coronavirus pandemic, and also to maintain the Nightingale hospitals until the end of March next year.
Commenting, Dr Ben Spencer said:
“Staff at St Peter’s and across the Trust have worked tirelessly over recent months, and I would like to thank them for everything they have done to get our local community through the coronavirus pandemic.
“While we hope for the best this winter, we need to ensure our NHS is prepared. This funding to upgrade St Peter’s A&E and Urgent Treatment Centre will ensure that we are in the best possible position for the challenges that the winter months may bring.
“During the election campaign we promised to deliver record NHS investment and improve health services across the country. I am delighted the Government is continuing to do exactly that.”
David Fluck, Acting Chief Executive, from Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
“We are delighted with this announcement of extra funding for our emergency and urgent care services. Planning is already underway to improve these service and the additional funds will make a real difference to patients, the team and the community we serve.”
Also commenting, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“We are investing £450 million to make sure our A&E departments are ready for winter. Hospitals around the country will be able to expand and upgrade to ensure they can continue safely treating patients in the coming months.
“We all need to play our part by washing our hands regularly, using a face covering and keeping our distance from those not in our household. We are determined to protect the NHS as we did during the peak.”