North East A&E will not receive additional funding this winter

Union criticises the Government for failing to give North East health trusts additional funding for emergency services this winter

Chappells Paul A Hospital Accident and Emergency department
A Hopsital Accident and Emergency department

Nurses' leaders have accused the Government of “geographical bias” for failing to give North East health trusts additional funding for emergency services this winter.

This week the Government announced that a £250m cash injection for A&E this winter will be spent on thousands of extra beds and extra staff.

Almost 2,500 extra beds will be made available across England as a result of the funding.

Yet none of the hospital trusts in the North East will receive a penny of the money allocated by the Department of Health.

The Royal College of Nursing’s Northern region has hit out at the region being overlooked.

A spokesman said: “There appears to be a blatant geographic bias in the funding allocation. To say that not a single NHS trust in the North East is going to experience winter pressures this year, and therefore not going to receive any of the additional funding allocation, seems to be fanciful in the extreme.

“The reality is that over 10,000 patients across the region have had to wait for more than half-an-hour in an ambulance before they are even able to be admitted into A&E, due to the pressure on the system. This funding will quite literally do nothing for the communities across the North East.”

The majority of the funding was distributed earlier this year to 53 areas where hospitals were identified as being under the most pressure. A further £150m was announced by NHS England last week to help other health trusts cope with the cold weather.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, which represent all NHS trusts in England, along with NHS England, identified trusts which would most benefit from the government’s extra £250m funding. They did this by looking at the pressures faced by each trust and the needs of their local communities.”

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