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

The two hospitals serving Barking and Dagenham are set to receive millions of pounds to avert a winter health crisis.

Queen’s in Romford and King George in Goodmayes expect to get around £4million in winter pressure funding from the government. 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 bed space and staff.

Overall, it is 75 per cent more than the system received last year – but the share going to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs Queen’s and King George, has fallen.

In 2013, £7m was injected into 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 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 treated, discharged or admitted 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.”