NHS well prepared for winter pressures

Today, the Government has announced a £300m winter resilience boost to help the NHS, which will be used to provide more hospital bed space and pay for additional clinical staff.

More people are using A&E than ever before, with 22 million visits a year, and compared to 2010 the NHS handles more than 3,000 extra attendances every day.  Despite the extra demand, the NHS is performing well and treating the vast majority of people quickly, thanks to hardworking NHS staff. But with many more extra visits to A&E, the pressures are real and it is vital the NHS is well supported.


Earlier this year the Government agreed an initial £400m injection of funds to enhance local health services. This additional funding has already been allocated and is being used to deliver detailed resilience plans, developed by local partnerships made up of clinical commissioning groups, hospitals, councils, local NHS and social care leaders, and approved by NHS England, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority working with the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Today, the Government has announced a further £300m boost to help the NHS, which will provide more bed space and pay for additional clinical staff.  This means the NHS can better plan for seasonal peaks and troughs in demand whilst recognising the need to balance its books and put in place sustainable services that deliver for patients year round.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
“The NHS is under unprecedented extra demand, with a million more visits to A&E each year compared to 2010 and 2,000 extra ambulance journeys a day. Despite this, our hardworking doctors and nurses continue to see the vast majority of patients quickly and treat them compassionately.

“But we know the cold weather can bring added pressure so, as in previous years, we’ve given the NHS extra resources to make sure it is better prepared than ever before, with robust local plans in place from June which address the need to plan for year round demands. We are boosting frontline services and expect the NHS to ensure strong performance is delivered locally, drawing on the multi-million pound support package that the Government has provided.” 


Speaking on behalf of the NHS, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: "Week in week out NHS staff go the extra mile to ensure their patients get excellent care, but an ageing and growing population means that service pressures are rising, so this winter the NHS will be pulling out all the stops.”

Karen Croker, Director of Operations at Weston Area Health NHS Trust
, said: “We expect to receive funding from the Department of Health to help us deal with the increased demand on our hospital services over the winter period, we expect this sum to be in the region £2.3m. We plan to use that funding towards improving our service by opening an additional ward and recruiting more nurses, doctors and other clinical staff to ensure we continue to provide safe, high quality services during the predicted busy months; this will also help us achieve key service performance targets. Our teams are working hard to put this additional income to good use to ensure Weston Hospital is resilient during the upcoming months.”