Extra £3.7m will help West Sussex hospital trust upgrade A&E ahead of winter

A hospital trust in West Sussex is set to receive £3.7 million in additional funding to upgrade its A&E facilities ahead of winter.

A&E at Worthing Hospital
A&E at Worthing Hospital

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the funds would go towards the A&E departments at both St Richard’s Hospital and Worthing Hospital.

Plans are currently being developed to use the investment to improve facilities, increase capacity and prepare for winter, a trust spokesman said.

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The funding was welcomed by Gillian Keegan, the MP for Chichester, who said that St Richard’s had already done ‘significant work’ throughout the pandemic to ensure they were prepared for every eventuality, including expanding the intensive care and ventilator capacity.

Across England, the Government is providing £300 million to A&E departments, with work to be completed by the start of next year so hospitals can benefit from the upgrades during the peak of winter.

This funding forms part of the New Deal for Britain which was announced by the Prime Minister in June, which allocated a total of £1.5 billion this year for hospital maintenance, hospital building and A&E expansion.

It comes on top of the additional £3 billion that Boris Johnson recently announced to help prepare the NHS for the winter months ahead.

It will allow the NHS to continue to use the extra hospital capacity acquired from the independent sector through the coronavirus pandemic and also to maintain the Nightingale hospitals until the end of March next year.

Ms Keegan praised Dame Marianne Griffiths, the chief executive of the hospital trust, and her team for their ‘exceptional’ work throughout the pandemic.

She said: “Fighting the coronavirus has been the biggest public health challenge ever faced by the NHS, and those who work within the service have risen to the occasion.

“I know as a community and a nation we are extremely grateful for their selfless dedication and commitment.

“While we hope for the best this winter, it’s right that we plan for the worst.

“This funding to upgrade our local A&E and will ensure that we are in the best possible position for the challenges that the winter months may bring.”