North Staffordshire MPs have welcomed news that University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust is set to receive an additional £4.3m in order to support A&E capacity ahead of the winter months.
The extra £4,300,000 means that the Trust will be able to increase its A&E capacity, put enhanced infection prevention and control measures in place and make improvements to emergency care and urgent treatment services.
Across England, the Government is providing £300 million to A&E departments, with work to be completed by the start of next year so hospitals can benefit from the upgrades during the peak of winter.
In June, the Prime Minister announced plans to accelerate £5 billion of infrastructure spending as part of his New Deal for Britain – an ambitious economic strategy to rebuild Britain by putting jobs, skills and infrastructure investment at the heart of the Government’s plans. 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 extra hospital capacity acquired from the independent sector through the coronavirus pandemic, and also to maintain the Nightingale hospitals until the end of March next year.
Commenting, Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Jo Gideon said, “Staff at the Royal Stoke 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.”
Jonathan Gullis MP, the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North said, “While we hope for the best this winter, its right that we plan for the worst. This funding to upgrade A&E across the Trust will ensure that we are in the best possible position for the challenges that the winter months may bring.”
Aaron Bell MP, the Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme added, “The Royal Stoke is a local institution, and I am glad that this funding will help us all locally, by enabling the A&E to maximise its readiness for winter and minimise the risk from any future outbreaks of coronavirus.”
Jack Brereton MP, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent South also welcomed the news, stating “The NHS is my top priority and the incredible work our NHS staff have done throughout the pandemic deserves all our thanks. I am delighted to see the Conservatives in Government delivering record NHS investment, this will ensure A&E at the Royal Stoke is able to cope with the pressures of both coronavirus and winter.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“We continue to deliver on our promise to build back better and faster, with £300 million allocated today for NHS trusts to upgrade their facilities and improve A&E capacity.
“These upgrades will help our fantastic NHS prepare for the winter months, helping them to deliver essential services and reduce the risk of coronavirus infections.
“Thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts of NHS staff throughout the pandemic, our A&Es have remained open for the public.
“It’s vital that those who need emergency treatment this winter access it, and for those who remain concerned about visiting hospitals, let me assure you that the NHS has measures in place to keep people safe.”