Emergency funding of almost £8 million has been awarded to hospitals in Staffordshire and Sandwell to help A&E departments cope this winter – but under pressure units elsewhere in the region have missed out.
Wolverhampton’s A&E at New Cross, which has seen record patient numbers in the last year, has not been allocated any cash.
And Dudley’s Russells Hall and Walsall Manor hospitals have also been snubbed. New Cross chief executive David Loughton today said the cash was ‘rewarding failure’.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an extra £500m in funding for the next two years and outlined how half of that will be shared between 53 NHS trusts this year. To receive funding in the second year, hospitals will have to ensure at least three quarters of their staff have been vaccinated against the influenza virus.
Among those in line to receive a share of this year’s £250m are Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust, Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust and Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust.
Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which runs Cannock Chase and Stafford hospitals, has been allocated £3,747,000.
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust will receive £4,218,000. The trust runs Sandwell General Hospital in West Bromwich, City Hospital in Birmingham, Rowley Regis Community Hospital and Leasowes Intermediate Care Centre.
Sandwell chief executive Toby Lewis said: “We welcome this additional funding to help us continue to improve our services to patients over the coming winter.”
Maggie Oldham, chief executive at Mid Staffs which faces being dissolved under plans, said: “We know that there is not one quick fix which will solve the challenges we face over the coming winter.”
University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, which runs City General Hospital in Stoke on Trent, will be given £3,460,000. Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust, which runs Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, Worcestershire Royal Hospital and Alexandra Hospital, will receive £1m from the Department of Health funding.
Wolverhampton NHS Trust, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS trust will not receive any slice of the £250m, meaning New Cross, Russells Hall and Walsall Manor hospitals will see none of the money.
Mr Hunt made the announcement yesterday as he admitted this winter would be ‘tough’ for A&E departments nationwide.
The A&E at New Cross has seen record patient numbers in the last year and will come under extra pressure when it is expected to take on overspill from Stafford.