Rebecca Harris welcomes vital funding boost for Southend Hospital
Castle Point MP Rebecca Harris has welcomed the announcement that Southend Hospital will benefit from a £9.7 Million funding boost as part of the Government scheme that will provide A&Es in 25 hospitals across England with an additional £150 Million capital funding.
The additional funding will allow hospitals to upgrade and expand their waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles, helping boost A&E capacity by providing additional space and reducing overcrowding. These upgrades will ensure that hospitals will have the physical space to treat patients, manage patient flow and improve infection control.
Hospitals across the country will see their expansion projects completed by the start of 2021, allowing them to benefit from the upgrades during the peak of winter.
The £150 million capital funding to expand and upgrade A&Es is in addition to the £300 million announced recently for 117 Trusts to upgrade their facilities, meaning the Government has now invested £450 million to upgrade A&Es this winter.
Commenting, Rebecca Harris said:
“As the difficult months of winter approach and we continue to tackle the pandemic, this additional funding will significantly help to reduce overcrowding in A&E. Southend Hospital has worked tirelessly to protect the local community throughout the pandemic and I am pleased that this funding will not only protect patients, but also the staff – making the NHS as safe as possible.”
Rebecca has also hailed the NHS’ new offer to patients, which is being piloted in Trusts across England, with NHS 111 being the first point of contact for accessing urgent medical care. The NHS will book appointments for patients with the most clinically appropriate service to cut out unnecessary queueing and ensure they get the right care first time. This will be safer and more convenient for patients as it will reduce the amount of time spent in waiting rooms, the pressure on the NHS this winter and reduce transmission of Covid-19.
Based on what works best during the NHS 111 pilots, this approach will be rolled out to all Trusts from December this year, including Southend Hospital. This approach will be in combination with the NHS’ £24 million investment to improve 111 call capacity and expert advice provided.
A consultation will be launched on A&E performance measurements to ensure they reflect modern emergency care and deliver what patients need. The consultation, which is set to take place before December, will assess whether the existing emergency care standards are sufficient or need updating.
A public communications campaign ‘Help Us Help You’ will also launch later this year to direct people to the right NHS service.