Government gives £7million to relieve A&E pressure at Queen’s and King George Hospitals

King George Hospital

King George Hospital - Credit: Archant

The government is injecting 7million to cope with the pressure on A&E at Queen’s Hospital and King George Hospital this winter.

The Department of Health has set out plans to “fundamentally tackle” the number of people flooding emergency departments across the country.

Queen’s Hospital, in Romford, is one of the busiest A&Es in the whole of London and could be under even more pressure when the emergency department at King George, in Goodmayes, closes in 2015.

Both hospitals have seen rising numbers of patients coming into the emergency department – seeing nearly 5,000 in just one week in July.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) has missed government targets to see patients within four hours and was ranked the slowest in London earlier this year, although performance has improved.

Chief executive Averil Dongworth said the trust is “working hard” on plans to ease pressure before numbers are expected to rocket in winter.

She added: “We plan to spend the money on more than 20 different projects which will prevent unnecessary visits to A&E, streamline care for people who do need emergency treatment, and allow us to discharge people home from hospital as soon as possible.”

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Plans include boosting treatment and beds in the community, supporting social work teams, enhancing home visits, expanding urgent care centres, supporting care homes and ensuring A&E is well-staffed with consultants.

Ilford North MP Lee Scott said the funding showed a welcome “commitment” to A&E in Redbridge.

He added: “I want this £7m to make sure residents of Redbridge get the service they deserve and that hard-working staff are helped in their jobs.”

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said cold weather brings “added pressures” to the NHS, particularly from elderly patients.

He added: “But this is a serious, long-term problem, which needs fundamental changes to equip our A&Es for the future.

“In the long term, I want a 24/7 service which recognises patients as individuals and looks out for them proactively.”