WARRINGTON & Halton A&E services is set to receive an extra £4.3m in funding to increase capacity ahead of the winter months.
The news has been welcomed by Warrington South MP Andy Carter who met with health secretary Matt Hancock at the Warrington site last November to highlight the pressures on the local A&E.
The extra £4.3m 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.
Mr Carter said: “Last November I invited Matt Hancock to Warrington Hospital to show him the pressures in our local A&E, I’m pleased to say the £4.3m awarded today will address the capacity issues, it means we can extend the emergency department, adding more treatment cubicles, increasing the waiting areas, significantly remodelling paediatric A&E and improving facilities. It’s what the Hospital Trust asked for and I’m pleased the Health Secretary has listened and taken action to award the funding.”
“This investment into our local A&E services addresses one of the most urgent issues at Warrington Hospital, it means work can begin immediately with the aim of having it finished by the start of next year. There’s also some additional capital funding agreed to address general maintenance at the hospital. I’m continuing to push for further funding to secure a new hospital over the long term”.
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.”
Chief Executive of Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals, Professor Simon Constable said: “We welcome this additional £4.3m funding to support our winter planning arrangements and are delighted to have received one of the most significant allocations in the North West region and the highest in Cheshire and Merseyside.
“This is a huge boost to expanding our Emergency Department and our exciting vision for an enhanced assessment unit in Warrington Hospital’s Appleton Wing which will enable us to bring together a range of clinical specialists to provide 24/7 access to diagnostics and assessments for patients.
“In addition to supporting us to upgrade our hospital facility this winter, this will help to alleviate the pressures on our emergency department and ensure that strict infection control and social distancing measures can be put in place to ensure our urgent care services continue to provide a safe environment for both patients and staff throughout the winter period.”