James Duddridge MP has welcomed the news that Southend Hospital will receive an additional £9.7 million to expand and upgrade its A&E.
Southend is one of 25 hospitals across England to benefit from the £150 million funding boost to ensure they have the physical space to treat patients, manage patient flow and improve infection control.
This is in addition to the £300 million announced recently for 117 Trusts to upgrade their facilities, meaning the Government has now invested £450 million to upgrade A&Es this winter.
The funding will expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles, helping boost A&E capacity by providing additional space and reducing overcrowding. Projects will be completed by the start of next year so hospitals benefit from the upgrades during the peak of winter.
Alongside this, a new offer to patients is being piloted in Trusts across England, with NHS 111 being the first point of contact for accessing urgent medical care.
To ensure patients get the right care in the right place and avoid unnecessary visits to Emergency Departments, NHS 111 will build on its role during the pandemic to direct patients to the most clinically appropriate service, including Emergency Departments, an Urgent Treatment Centre, a GP or mental health professional.
Based on what works best during the pilots, this approach will be rolled out to all Trusts from December this year.