Hospital’s A&E could share in £500m fund

Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham
Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

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QUEEN Alexandra Hospital in Cosham could benefit from a share in a £500m government fund.

It is going to be handed to Accident and Emergency departments which struggle to cope with demand, especially during the winter months when pressure on services reaches a peak.

But it will also be available to other services, such as local authorities, which could help long-term patients get back into their homes and prevent so-called bed-blocking.

As reported previously in The News, Queen Alexandra Hospital has had problems with the length of time ambulances have been forced to wait while space 
was cleared in A&E for their patients.

NHS guidelines state a patient coming into A&E on blue lights should be transferred into the hospital’s care within 15 minutes.

But in June 2,308 patients waited up to half-an-hour, 153 were left waiting more than half-an-hour, 73 waited one to two hours, 25 people waited two to four hours, and one person was left for more than four hours.

And in winter the demand is even higher.

Prime minister David Cameron said: ‘With more than a million people visiting A&E in the last three years, services and staff can find themselves under pressure during the busier winter period.

The additional funding will go to hospitals where the pressure will be greatest, with a focus on practical measures that relieve pinch points in local services.’

A spokesman for NHS England said: ‘It will be up to the hospitals to submit plans on how they will improve, and then a decision will be made on the allocation, some time before winter.

‘We’re aiming for a month’s time.’

The News understands the Portsmouth, South Eastern and Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group would make the application as QA serves the whole region.