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Countess of Chester Hospital given £200k funding to help with winter pressures

But MP describes it as a 'drop in the ocean'

The Countess of Chester Hospital

The Countess of Chester Hospital will get £200,000 to help its A&E cope with Christmas demand.

The Government has announced 27 NHS trusts will get a share of a £20m pot.

They say it will be used to help hospitals ‘properly equip themselves ahead of winter’.

For the past two years the Countess has had to warn non-emergency patients to stay away due to stretched services in December.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The NHS prepares well in advance for winter each year, but despite the hard work and dedication of staff, demand on services continues to increase as a result of our ageing population.

“This vital investment will help hospitals change the way they assess and see patients so people are given the most appropriate medical care as quickly as possible.”

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt(Image: Neil Hall/PA Wire)

Of the 27 hospitals announced to be receiving funding, the total allocated to the Countess is the lowest.

Aintree Hospital in Liverpool is one of three trusts receiving £1m. The East Cheshire NHS Trust will get £879,000.

Some A&E units may even have GP practices built within them which would focus on less urgent patients.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders said the money was not enough in the context of the Government’s health budget.

The shadow health minister said: “Whilst any extra funding is welcome there is no escaping the fact A&E has been in crisis for far too long.

“This small extra cash injection is a drop in the ocean compared to seven years of chronic underfunding.

“They are letting down patients, staff and the public and need to come up with a sustainable funding solution for the health service.”

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