Colchester General Hospital granted extra £2.8m by government to cope with busy winter

Colchester MP Will Quince. Picture: WILL QUINCE

Colchester MP Will Quince. Picture: WILL QUINCE - Credit: Archant

Colchester MP Will Quince has welcomed extra funds promised by the Government to help the town’s hospital make it through the busy winter season safely.

The Department of Health is offering Colchester General Hospital up to £2.8 million to deal with the rise in demand traditionally seen during the coldest months of the year.

The trust’s grant is coming out of a £437m pot that has been made available for the NHS to cope with the winter surge.

Mr Quince said: “The hospital is out of special measures which is brilliant but every winter, like all hospitals, it is under significant pressure especially if it’s a cold winter.

“I have been lobbying hard for extra cash to support out hospital so it can cope with demand, so this announcement is good news.”

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However, Mr Quince urged the public to still play their part this winter and to use the hospital’s emergency services appropriately.

He added: “I would reiterate the hospitals calls that A&E really is accident and emergency, not anything and everything, so please use 111, pharmacies and out of hours GP services so you don’t put too much pressure on our hospital.”

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Jan Ingle, a Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman, has also welcomed the news.

She said: “We are delighted to receive this additional funding which will make the world of difference to us this winter.

“We are finalising our detailed plan on how to get the very best from this extra money.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “The NHS has robust plans in place to cope with the additional pressures of winter, supported by an extra £437m of additional funding – of which up to £2.789m is available to Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust.”

Colchester General Hospital was lifted out of special measures in November for the first time in four years after the Care Quality Commission found the trust had made significant improvements.

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