NHS trusts in England will receive £300 million to upgrade facilities in preparation for seasonal pressures and a potential second coronavirus wave, Boris Johnson has announced.
The Prime Minister said the boost would enable hospitals to maintain essential services and reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection during the coming months.
The funding comes from a £1.5 billion capital building allocation for the NHS set out by Mr Johnson in June. It will benefit 117 trusts across the country.
Health minister Edward Argar told talkRADIO the cash will be used to increase the capacity of Accident and Emergency departments to cope with social distancing measures.
Speaking with Julia Hartley-Brewer, the Conservative MP said: “The emergency departments and A&Es are open for business.
“If you need to go there, you should go there and you shouldn’t be afraid of going there.
“We want to reinforce that message by giving NHS trusts the money they need to further enhance those facilities for people.”
Officials have said the projects would all be completed by the start of 2021 so hospitals would benefit from the upgrades during the peak months of winter.
However, the immediate past president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said while any additional funding was helpful, there were limits to what it could achieve.
Dr Nick Scriven commented: “How do we think we can actually implement what would be building works in existing units whilst remaining safe and efficient – all before any rise in either Covid or non-Covid patients which, if like last winter, may start before the end of October?”
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