Region receives £11.38m to prevent hospital A&E crisis

The Northern Echo: Darlington Memorial Hospital A&E department Darlington Memorial Hospital A&E department

HEALTH chiefs across the region have been handed £11.38m of emergency cash to prevent an A&E crisis – just weeks after ministers insisted they didn’t need it.

The money has been paid out to GPs to devise schemes to “minimise A&E attendance and hospital admissions” during the highly-pressured winter months.

They will also be expected to work with hospitals to treat more patients at weekends and tackle so-called ‘bed-blocking’ – when patients stay on wards unnecessarily.

The funding was announced as Labour staged a Westminster ‘summit’ on the issue, warning that 2013 was “the worst year in a decade in A&E”.

Highlighting longer ambulance queues, health spokesman Andy Burnham said: “There are genuine concerns now about the service's ability to cope over what we expect will be a very difficult winter.”

Among the health workers present was a paramedic who said the use of private ambulances was again on the rise in North Yorkshire.

There was anger, back in September, when North-East hospitals missed out on a £235m cash injection to ease pressures in casualty departments.

On that occasion, the department of health (DH) described the decision as a compliment, because cash was going “to the areas that need it most”.

But ministers have now found an extra £150m, which has been allocated to GP-led clinical commission groups (CCGs), which ‘buy’ treatments and services.

Of the £11.38m, the largest sum goes to Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG (£2.12m), followed by South Tees (£2.1m), but Darlington and North Durham miss out.

In a letter to CCGs, outgoing NHS chief executive David Nicholson wrote that he now believed they too would “benefit from additional resources”

Meanwhile, Mr Burnham revealed an increase in the number of emergency patients “trapped in the back of an ambulance” outside full A&E departments for more than 30 minutes.

Across the country, the figure rose by 40,000 compared with last year - to 255,000 – but no figures were available for the North-East or Yorkshire.

Debbie Wilkinson, a paramedic from Yorkshire, said her Unite union had noted a return of private ambulances in North Yorkshire, operating out of Malton.

She said the staff did not wear badges displaying their “skill level”, adding: “It means we don’t know what level of crew they are, whether they need back up on a job.

“Not only is it embarrassing in front of the patient, but it means I may have to travel with them as a paramedic responder.”

In response, Mr Burnham said the use of private ambulances went against calls, by NHS medical director Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, for more skilled crews.

He said: “It seems to me that most ambulance services are going in precisely the opposite direction to the one recommended by the Keogh review.”

Comments (7)

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8:09am Wed 11 Dec 13

Traser says...

Hmmm

One trust (NHS North Tees and Hartlepool) has had £40m cut from its budget over three years as an 'efficiency saving'.

Multiply that amount by the number of trusts to work out the amount of cash taken out of the North-East's NHS system.

Now we are meant to be grateful for the 'extra' £11m put into the North East's NHS system?

Goebbels would be proud of the Tory Government's propaganda machine!
Hmmm One trust (NHS North Tees and Hartlepool) has had £40m cut from its budget over three years as an 'efficiency saving'. Multiply that amount by the number of trusts to work out the amount of cash taken out of the North-East's NHS system. Now we are meant to be grateful for the 'extra' £11m put into the North East's NHS system? Goebbels would be proud of the Tory Government's propaganda machine! Traser

9:12am Wed 11 Dec 13

David Lacey says...

NHS funding is ring fenced and rising with inflation. Labour opposed that in Parliament.
.
Let's not allow the facts to get in the way of a good Government bashing story!
NHS funding is ring fenced and rising with inflation. Labour opposed that in Parliament. . Let's not allow the facts to get in the way of a good Government bashing story! David Lacey

10:18am Wed 11 Dec 13

Stocko says...

David Lacey wrote:
NHS funding is ring fenced and rising with inflation. Labour opposed that in Parliament.
.
Let's not allow the facts to get in the way of a good Government bashing story!
You do keep on with that nonsense David - you know its not the truth.

Not only did the UK Statistics Authority tell the government to stop saying it because it was a lie but £3 billion of it went in paying for a re-organisation no party promised and which involved making hundreds of staff redundant and then having to take them back on again.

Meanwhile patients continue to suffer, walk-in centres cut hours and some services are being privatised by the back door.

Not Safe in Their Hands!
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: NHS funding is ring fenced and rising with inflation. Labour opposed that in Parliament. . Let's not allow the facts to get in the way of a good Government bashing story![/p][/quote]You do keep on with that nonsense David - you know its not the truth. Not only did the UK Statistics Authority tell the government to stop saying it because it was a lie but £3 billion of it went in paying for a re-organisation no party promised and which involved making hundreds of staff redundant and then having to take them back on again. Meanwhile patients continue to suffer, walk-in centres cut hours and some services are being privatised by the back door. Not Safe in Their Hands! Stocko

11:41am Wed 11 Dec 13

The Grim North says...

If privatisation brings a better service for less money then I'd be all for it.
If privatisation brings a better service for less money then I'd be all for it. The Grim North

1:56pm Wed 11 Dec 13

David Lacey says...

I told the truth. Labour opposed the NHS funding ring fence. They wanted to cut the NHS. It isn't safe in their hands.
I told the truth. Labour opposed the NHS funding ring fence. They wanted to cut the NHS. It isn't safe in their hands. David Lacey

2:34pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Stocko says...

David Lacey wrote:
I told the truth. Labour opposed the NHS funding ring fence. They wanted to cut the NHS. It isn't safe in their hands.
I'm not saying you lied David - I'm just saying you believe the government when they say they increased spending when the UK Statistics Authority showed they didn't.

And do you deny that billions were spent on a re-organisation that NO party had in its manifesto and was not included in the Coalition Agreement.

In fact both sources said 'We will NOT have a top-down reorganisation of the NHS'.

The reorganisation was paid for by cutting back on NHS services and as a result people are sat in ambulances waiting to get into hospital, they are closing or reducing opening hours of walk-in centres and desperately now trying to stave off yet another winter A & E crisis.

These are undeniable truths.
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: I told the truth. Labour opposed the NHS funding ring fence. They wanted to cut the NHS. It isn't safe in their hands.[/p][/quote]I'm not saying you lied David - I'm just saying you believe the government when they say they increased spending when the UK Statistics Authority showed they didn't. And do you deny that billions were spent on a re-organisation that NO party had in its manifesto and was not included in the Coalition Agreement. In fact both sources said 'We will NOT have a top-down reorganisation of the NHS'. The reorganisation was paid for by cutting back on NHS services and as a result people are sat in ambulances waiting to get into hospital, they are closing or reducing opening hours of walk-in centres and desperately now trying to stave off yet another winter A & E crisis. These are undeniable truths. Stocko

4:19pm Wed 11 Dec 13

George BA says...

I wonder why there are so many delays in local A&E's, would the fact you are kept waiting whilst highly trained staff stand around gossiping about Christmas and drinking water etc while we wait in corridors. Then it takes two or more to discharge you.
I wonder why there are so many delays in local A&E's, would the fact you are kept waiting whilst highly trained staff stand around gossiping about Christmas and drinking water etc while we wait in corridors. Then it takes two or more to discharge you. George BA

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