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West Suffolk hospital trust welcomes winter funding

West Suffolk Foundation Trust has welcomed the government winter funding

West Suffolk Foundation Trust has welcomed the government winter funding

Hospital bosses in west Suffolk say additional funding to improve emergency care during the winter months will “really make a difference”.

The West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) will receive £2.3million of government funding which is part of the £145m which has been given to trusts across the country to support the NHS during winter.

The funding will be used to support the WSFT acute assessment unit (AAU) –which is currently in the first phase of development and due to open in December.

Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, and secretary of state for health and social care, said: “I am delighted that £2.3m has been granted to the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to provide 22 trolley spaces in their new acute assessment unit, which will support their A&E department.

“I know how much pressure hospitals are under, particularly in the winter months, so this extra capacity to be able to treat the patients who need it most urgently is greatly welcomed.

“This funding will help enable West Suffolk Hospital to continue to provide first-rate care to patients, with bigger and more enhanced emergency care facilities, this is a big win for the hospital and for the local community.”

The aim of the AAU is to assess patients quickly, the unit will diagnose the patient’s condition, and wherever possible treat them the same day so they can return home with the help they need, like take-away medications.

Having had observations and monitoring done on the unit, those patients who do need ongoing care in hospital can then be transferred to the right, specialist ward for their needs first time.

The unit, which contains assessment and monitoring trolleys and specialist chairs instead of hospital beds, will also help to ease pressure on the emergency department – leaving it to just care for those with major conditions, or minor injuries that can be treated quickly.

Stephen Dunn, chief executive, said the funding would help to support the hospital during the busy winter months: “Every year we see demands on the NHS increase, and this is particularly seen during the winter months.

“Of course we still expect to face challenges this winter, but this additional funding will really make a difference.

“Our new acute assessment unit will mean people have quicker access to specialists when they need them, and be able to get the diagnosis and treatment they need to go home rather than stay in hospital. It will modernise the way that we care for our emergency patients, and we hope that will have a real impact on our ability to manage winter demand.

“We’re delighted that additional funding support has been provided, and we’re very grateful for the Government’s investment not just in ourselves, but in the NHS as a whole.”

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said: “I strongly welcome the £2.3 million of government investment in our local front line services at our NHS hospital here in Bury St Edmunds.

“Knowing just how hard our NHS staff work around the clock, let alone during the difficult winter months, this crucial investment is the right support for patients and staff at West Suffolk Hospital.”

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