Cash injection to help hospital A&E
PUBLISHED: 14:31 13 September 2013 | UPDATED: 14:31 13 September 2013
EMERGENCY services at Weston General Hospital have received a multi-million pound boost to help prevent a repeat of problems suffered over the winter.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced Weston Area Health NHS Trust will receive an extra £4.8million in funding, following a difficult and busy winter which culminated in a poor inspection report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
The money will go towards employing more doctors, providing extra beds and increasing out-of-hour services in areas such as physiotherapy.
It is a welcome boost to the trust as autumn arrives, but the grant comes only months after it had its funding cut by a similar amount.
In April the disbanding of NHS North Somerset Primary Care Trust in favour of a clinical commissioning group saw WAHT lose its lucrative £5million annual grant.
The Government announced earlier this summer that it would offer an extra £500million to help alleviate A&E problems and WAHT expressed immediate interest.
Weston MP John Penrose said: “This is brilliant news. I’ve been campaigning for better health funding for Weston and the villages for years, and so have hospital staff and GPs too.
“This kind of money will make a real difference for local people needing emergency medical care this winter, when pressure on the service is always high.
“It means patients don’t have to wait as long to be seen and they’ll get faster, better treatment locally.
“It may not solve all our health funding problems, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, and it shows our message is getting through in Westminster.”
The hospital received two formal warnings from the CQC earlier this year with one A&E doctor reporting staffing levels were ‘unsafe’ - a claim denied by bosses. Improvements have since seen the warnings lifted.
Mr Hunt, on announcing the funding, said: “This winter is going to be tough. That’s why the Government is acting now to make sure patients receive a great, safe service, even with the added pressures the cold weather brings.”