Two of our partner hospitals have been given a £5m government boost to help care for their communities this winter.

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust (GEH) and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) will use the cash to upgrade infrastructure in ways designed to help cope with the combined challenge of probable cold weather and potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

GEH’s allocated £3m and SWFT’s assigned £2m is a share of £300m divided amongst 117 NHS trusts across the country.

GEH will use the funding to support a new ward development, with SWFT using the money to create extra space to treat patients in its emergency department.

A&E attendance over winter is always increased and demand for hospital beds is always high.

GEH will use the funding to build a new ward to provide extra bed capacity to support patient flow through the hospital.

This will help to release pressure from the hospital’s A&E department with patients being seen and cared for quicker, leading to improved patient experience.

Glen Burley, Chief Executive for George Eliot NHS Trust and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted to receive this funding for Warwickshire urgent care services. We are facing a difficult winter ahead while still recovering from the COVID pandemic and this funding will ensure we have the facilities required to support our staff to deliver high quality care for our local communities.

“We have worked hard and made all the necessary adjustments to ensure our hospitals are safe for patients to attend. Therefore, I would like to actively encourage people not to be scared to access our services when they need us. Please do not delay seeking medical advice or miss planned appointments as this could lead to further health complications.”

Prime Minister Boris 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.

“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.”