Cash boost for Sunderland Royal Hospital to tackle winter pressures

Sunderland Royal Hospital's new emergency department.
Sunderland Royal Hospital's new emergency department.
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Sunderland's Royal Hospital has received a six-figure boost to help tackle additional pressures in its new emergency department next winter.

The £875,000 Government cash is part of a £20.74m nationwide injection to be shared by 27 hospitals in England and follows an initial £55.98m allocated to 70 hospitals in April.

The Department of Health (DoH) says the money is part of dedicated funding announced in the spring budget to ensure local accident and emergency departments can change the way

they assess patients to make sure people are given the most appropriate care as quickly as possible.

Mr 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 the Sunderland Royal Hospital change the way they assess and see patients so people are given the most appropriate medical care as quickly as

possible.”

The DoH says hospitals will be in a better position to "stream" patients when they arrive in A&E, with a clinician assessing their needs and deciding where they can receive the most

appropriate care.

It adds that the money will also allow hospitals to build GP practices within their A&E units where patients with less urgent needs can receive treatment, further alleviating pressure.

The Royal's new "state-of-the-art" emergency department only opened last week after staff had spent 18 months working in temporary facilities.

The previous facilities, which opened in 1978, were deemed unfit for purpose and have been replaced by separate entrances for children and adult emergencies.

The new department is located at the front of the hospital and is closer to Kayll Road than Chester Road.

Sean Fenwick, director of operations at City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, welcomed the announcement and added: “This funding will help us continue with our plans to

transform emergency care in Sunderland.

"We have recently opened our brand new emergency department, a world-class facility which is purpose built to improve patient experience and flow through the department.

"As part of this we have developed separate areas for adult and children’s emergencies and a new footprint that will direct patients to the most appropriate care and make sure that they

are diagnosed and treated more efficiently.

"Emergency care services are under pressure, particularly in the winter months and this funding will contribute to our ongoing efforts to offer an excellent service to those who need it

most.”