U-turn gives the Royal Berkshire Hospital much needed funds

Published: 10 Dec 2013 15:300 comments

A DRAMATIC U-turn has given health services a £1.682m windfall to reduce the strain on the beleaguered Royal Berkshire Hospital.

The money could aid Bracknell and Wokingham residents who use the facility.

The Department of Health (DoH) has announced the cash injection for the Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) - which covers Wokingham, Reading and Newbury - to meet the expected spike in patients at the hospital over winter.

Health bosses breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement last Tuesday [3] because in August it was announced the Royal Berks’ annual winter pressure payment had been scrapped and the budget allocated to struggling hospitals such as Wexham Park.

Berkshire West urgent care board chairman Dr Andy Ciecierski said the cash will be used to ease pressure on the hospital’s A&E department.

He added: “Our urgent care programme board, a collaboration between hospital, community and primary care services, will decide how the money should be used with particular attention given to addressing those issues which are seen as key to reducing pressures on A&E departments.”

The hospital is already under immense pressure with A&E admissions surging 11% since last year.

Health sector regulator Monitor launched investigations into its failure to meet A&E targets in August and inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) will visit in March.

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