Over 29 million pounds is being invested into the NHS in the South West to improve services and access to much needed care during the busy winter months.
The funding follows an announcement earlier in the year which outlined the governments plans to give more than £145 million to NHS Trusts across the country to improve emergency care.
17 Trusts including those in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Devon and Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset will benefit from the additional funds for new equipment, upgrades and initiatives including upgrading wards, redeveloping A&E departments, improving same-day emergency care and improving systems for managing the number of beds in use.
The funding comes from the Department of Health and Social Care’s existing budget will be spent on 81 new schemes in total across the Country. It’s a welcome boost following the pressures placed on many NHS services across the region as flu and norovirus have presented early.
Elizabeth O’Mahony, the South West Regional Director at NHS England and NHS Improvement said:
“This funding is a welcome boost to our services and our providers who work hard to ensure every patient contact is as positive as possible. This investment will ensure frontline services have the funding they need, to make a real difference to the lives of NHS staff, and above all, of patients.
“It will help our seven systems pursue additional schemes whilst sustaining performance over Christmas and into the New Year in line with winter priorities including the drive to extend crisis resolution teams, focus on frailty pathways and improved rapid treatment via A&E.”
In Yeovil thousands of people needing emergency treatment and care in Somerset and Dorset will benefit from a £1.1million extension to Yeovil Hospital’s emergency department (A&E) in the new year.
The development will increase the capacity of the department and add new bays in which patients are assessed and treated. It will also see a new space created to care for children with mental health issues.
Consultant and Clinical Director of the emergency department, Dr Jon Tipping, said:
“This is a welcome boost for the team who have been working exceptionally hard this year.
“Additional space will make it easier for us to accommodate, diagnose and treat the thousands of patients who rely upon us each month. Ultimately, this will give our team the environment to match the quality of the care they provide.”
A further £100k will also allow the Trust to create a new, larger space for its Integrated Discharge Team, enabling them to support patients return home more effectively.
At Great Western Hospital Trust Kevin McNamara, Acting Chief Executive, said:
“The money we successfully bid for will help to fund the opening of an additional ward on the Great Western Hospital site, providing beds for up to 30 medical patients over the winter period. This has been made possible by moving a ward, which is currently being used for patients with rehabilitation needs, to available space in a nursing home.
“We will be funding extra junior doctor shifts around the clock on the Medical Assessment Unit to ensure new patients are seen as quickly as possible to support safety. It will also enable us to provide extra therapy support to help medical patients be assessed, treated and safely discharged more quickly.
“All of these initiatives will help our staff to improve the safe flow of patients through the hospital. We would urge people to make the right choice about which healthcare service they choose this winter. If you’re not sure what to do, please call NHS 111 where trained advisors are available 24 hours a day to provide guidance.”
Nationally a further £1 billion boost to NHS spending was also promised to ensure existing upgrade programmes can proceed to tackle the most urgent infrastructure projects.