Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced the plans today to make sure the NHS is better prepared for winter than ever before.
Nearly two and a half thousand extra beds will be made available across England and the equivalent of nearly 3,000 extra staff will be brought in to help the NHS cope with winter pressures. This consists of temporary staff, extended hours of existing staff and new positions, and is the equivalent of an extra 320 doctors and nearly 2,000 nurses, physiotherapists, social workers and other staff who have been deployed across the country ahead of the traditionally busy winter period.
The extra resources will be put in place following a Government injection of £250 million earlier this year to support the most under pressure NHS Trusts over the busy winter period.
Overall, the NHS is performing well, with 95 per cent of patients being seen in A&E within four hours. However, with a million more people visiting A&E compared to three years ago it is vital that the NHS is well supported to handle the pressure winter can bring. The majority of the funding was distributed earlier this year to 53 areas where hospitals were identified as being under the most pressure and the money has been targeted at ‘pinch points’ in local services. The money is being spent on a range of additional resources, including:
- Up to 320 extra doctors and 1,400 extra nurses (full time equivalent (FTE) positions), including temporary staff, extended hours and new positions
- Up to 1,200 other NHS staff, including physiotherapists, social workers and occupational therapists (FTE positions) including temporary staff, extended hours and new positions
- Up to 140 additional acute specialist beds and 980 additional acute general beds in hospitals
- Up to 1,200 other beds, including in the community and in care homes.
An additional £150 million was announced by NHS England last week to other NHS Trusts to help them cope with the cold weather. This money could be spent on local initiatives including:
- Minimising A&E attendances and hospital admissions from care homes by appointing hospital specialists in charge of joining up services for the elderly
- Seven-day social work, increased hours at walk-in centres, increased intermediate care beds and extension to pharmacy services to ease pressures on A&E departments
- Consultant reviews of all ambulance arrivals in A&E so that a senior level decision is taken on what care is needed at the earliest opportunity
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
The NHS is performing well and more than 95 per cent of patients are being seen in our A&E departments in under four hours.
However, we know that cold weather affects our health and has an impact on the NHS every year. This year will be no different. That’s why we have prepared earlier than ever before by supporting the NHS with a £250 million fund that has been used to hire more doctors and nurses, and provide more beds.
We’re backing our hard working NHS staff with the extra doctors, nurses and beds they need to make sure patients get the excellent care they expect, no matter what season it is. Winter is tough. But the NHS has never been better prepared.
The Department of Health and NHS England are also working to relieve pressure on A&E in the longer term. A £3.8 billion fund has been agreed which will focus on joining up services, so that health and care services work more closely together, keeping people healthier and treating them closer to home. Professor Sir Bruce Keogh recently published his review on urgent and emergency care and how the NHS should address the longer term challenges when it comes to dealing with emergency care.
In addition, patients across the country will benefit from a £15 million cash injection to NHS 111, announced earlier this year, to prepare the service for potential winter pressures.
For more information please contact the Department of Health press office on 0207 210 5477.
Breakdown of £250 million by Trust - provisional amounts allocated to local health and care organisations:
- London Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust £7,000,000
- London Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust £5,120,000
- London Barts Health NHS Trust £12,800,000
- London Croydon Health Services NHS Trust £4,500,000
- London Ealing Hospital NHS Trust £2,900,000
- London North Middlesex University Hospital Trust £3,800,000
- London North West London Hospitals NHS Trust £6,400,000
- London South London Healthcare NHS Trust £7,700,000
- London Whittington Health NHS Trust £2,960,000
- London West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust £2,300,000
- Midlands and East Basildon and Thurrock NHS FT £2,490,000
- Midlands and East Bedford Hospital NHS Trust £3,734,000
- Midlands and East Derby Hospitals NHS FT £4,487,000
- Midlands and East Heart Of England NHS FT £9,289,000
- Midlands and East Kettering General Hospital NHS FT £3,919,000
- Midlands and East Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust £2,869,000
- Midlands and East Mid Staffordshire NHS FT £3,747,000
- Midlands and East Milton Keynes Hospital NHS FT £2,763,000
- Midlands and East Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust £4,000,000
- Midlands and East Peterborough and Stamford NHS FT £5,050,000
- Midlands and East Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust £4,218,000
- Midlands and East Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust £4,000,000
- Midlands and East The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn. NHS FT £3,990,000
- Midlands and East The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust £5,700,000
- Midlands and East United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust £8,000,000
- Midlands and East University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust £4,000,000
- Midlands and East University Hospital Of North Staffordshire NHS Trust £3,460,000
- Midlands and East University Hospitals Of Leicester NHS Trust £10,000,000
- Midlands and East Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust £1,000,000
- North Aintree University Hospital NHS FT 1,520,000
- North Airdale NHS FT £1,450,000
- North East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust £1,403,000
- North Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT £914,000
- North Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust £1,890,000
- North Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS FT £1,044,000
- North North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust £2,292,000
- North Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust £4,042,000
- North Stockport NHS FT £1,530,000
- North Tameside Hospital NHS FT £2,475,000
- North University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS FT £1,257,000
- North York Teaching Hospital NHS FT £2,061,000
- South Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust £2,326,000
- South Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust £4,080,000
- South East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust £2,300,000
- South Hampshire Hospitals NHS FT £3,302,000
- South Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS FT £6,644,000
- South Medway NHS FT £6,120,000,000
- South North Bristol NHS Trust £5,900,000
- South Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust £10,207,000
- South Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust £5,500,000
- South Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust £1,427,000
- South Royal United Bath Hospitals NHS Trust £4,426,000
- South Weston Area Health Trust £4,800,000