Queen’s and King George hospitals get £4m winter crisis pot

The A&E at Queen's Hospital, Romford. Inset: health secretary Jeremy Hunt (Pictures: PA)

The A&E at Queen's Hospital, Romford. Inset: health secretary Jeremy Hunt (Pictures: PA) - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima

Queen’s and King George hospitals are set to receive millions of pounds to avert a winter health crisis.

Around £4million in NHS money is to be paid to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) to ease pressures over the coming months. The cash will be spent partly on extra A&E capacity and is a response to “unprecedented demand” for NHS services.

Nationally the government has pledged £700m, announcing on Friday a £300m pot to pay for more beds and staff.

Overall, it is 75 per cent more than the system received last year – but the share going to BHRUT, which runs Queen’s and King George, has fallen.

In 2013, £7m was injected to tackle the hospitals’ busy A&E departments.

BHRUT deputy chief executive Steve Russell said: “Last year during the winter period, more than 48,000 attendances were recorded at King George and Queen’s hospitals’ emergency departments – an average of 533 a day across both sites.”

He added this year the money would pay for extra capacity in A&E, the trust’s Frail Older Persons Advisory and Liaison Service (FOPAL), support for care delivered at home, and initiatives aimed at reducing patients’ length of stay.

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Trusts nationwide have struggled to meet a government target of seeing 95pc of A&E patients within four hours, but BHRUT’s performance has been especially poor recently. Just 80.9pc were admitted, discharged or transferred within the timescale last month.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The NHS is under unprecedented demand, with a million more visits to A&E each year compared to 2010.” He added: “We are boosting frontline services and expect the NHS to ensure strong performance is delivered locally.”