Boris Johnson urges Brits to go to hospital if they need to as he reveals extra coronavirus winter cash
The PM said it was ‘vital that those who need emergency treatment this winter access it’. (PA)
Boris Johnson will seek to reassure the British public that accident and emergency departments are safe to use in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister is visiting a hospital on Tuesday and will confirm that 117 NHS Trusts will be handed a share of £300m to upgrade their A&E departments.
And he will tell Brits concerned about visiting hospitals amid the virus outbreak that they have “measures in place to keep people safe”.
The funding comes as part of £3bn in extra NHS spending announced by Mr Johnson in a bid to help the health service brace for a potential winter spike of Covid-19.
The NHS often runs at close to full capacity during the winter flu season, and the Government has been urged by its own advisers to use the summer months to get the NHS ready for a coronavirus resurgence that could lead to tens of thousands of new hospital deaths.
Hospitals will be encouraged to use the new A&E funding to expand waiting areas and increase the number of treatment cubicles to reduce overcrowding and improve infection control measures.
Number 10 said it expects projects to be “completed by the start of next year so hospitals benefit from the upgrades during the peak of winter“.
Mr Johnson said: “We continue to deliver on our promise to build back better and faster, with £300 million allocated today for NHS trusts to upgrade their facilities and improve A&E capacity.
“These upgrades will help our fantastic NHS prepare for the winter months, helping them to deliver essential services and reduce the risk of coronavirus infections.
The PM added: “Thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts of NHS staff throughout the pandemic, our A&Es have remained open for the public.
“It’s vital that those who need emergency treatment this winter access it, and for those who remain concerned about visiting hospitals, let me assure you that the NHS has measures in place to keep people safe.”
And Health Minister Edward Argar said: “Our NHS did an amazing job to ensure emergency care continued to be available for everyone who needed it during the peak of this pandemic.
“Today, we are announcing the details of the Trusts across the country who will receive a share of £300 million to upgrade their A&Es and support emergency care to help them to continue to deliver safe and accessible services throughout the normally busy winter period.”