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Hampshire hospitals to get £3.3m in time for winter
THE NHS trust that runs Basingstoke hospital will receive £3.3million to help alleviate pressure on its emergency departments this winter.
Hampshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT), which runs Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover hospitals, is one of 53 trusts to get a share of a £250million funding pot set aside by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
Mr Hunt said the money was a short-term measure to tackle an increase in the number of people attending emergency departments in hospitals during winter.
In April, it emerged that HHFT was failing to meet the Government-imposed target of seeing 95 per cent of emergency department patients within four hours.
Donna Green, chief operating officer of HHFT, said at the time that the lengthy waits at the emergency departments were due a “really difficult winter”, with an increase in admissions from referrals from the 111 helpline number and the closure of the drop-in centre at the Aldermaston Road site.
The trust has not commented on how the money will be spent.
But Mr Hunt said the £250million would be spent on different measures to prevent overcrowding at emergency departments, such as improving social care, getting extra consultant cover for emergency departments and increasing the number of clinicians and call-handlers on the 111 number.
Trusts eligible for the cash will also have to ensure at least 75 per cent of its own workers have been vaccinated against flu.
Mr Hunt said: “This winter is going to be tough – that’s why the Government is acting now to make sure patients receive a great, safe service, even with the added pressures the cold weather brings.
“In the long-term, I want a 24/7 service which recognises patients as individuals and looks out for them proactively.”
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