The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has been granted an extra £785,000 in Government funding to help cope with high demand during the winter months.
The additional funding, which is the equivalent to 18 annual nurse salaries, was announced as part of a £337 million funding boost for NHS hospitals this winter in the recent budget, in addition to an extra £2.8 billion investment over the next two years.
Craig Black, executive director of resources for the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said that the majority of the money would go towards providing extra staff in the hospital’s emergency department, which has been feeling the winter pressures.
“It’s pleasing that, like all trusts, we have received additional funding which will contribute towards the costs of providing care through winter,” he said.
“In November and December we have seen a significant increase in emergency admissions compared to the same period last year, so winter demand is placing a very real pressure on our organisation and on our hard-working staff.
“The public can also help us; we would always ask people to consider the best healthcare service to use for their needs over the festive period.
“For any non-life threatening or non-emergency issues, please consider using NHS 111, accessing your GP, or speaking to a pharmacy.”
This comes after NHS trusts across the country prepared earlier and more extensively for winter than ever before, focusing on securing sufficient numbers of doctors and nurses, increasing bed availability and providing strong care and support to discharge patients quickly.
Matt Hancock MP also welcomed the news.
“This is great news for West Suffolk patients and residents,” he said.
“We all want to know the NHS is there for us and our families whenever we need it, so I’m pleased the Government is giving the NHS extra support at this critical time of year, when cold weather and flu can increase the pressures on hard-working hospital staff.
“It’s thanks to our strong economy that we can make this extra investment in the NHS. Polls show the NHS is the institiution that makes us most proud to be British, and my party will always back and fund it.”