The government today announced the allocation of its £250m fund for the trusts thought to be most at risk of failing their accident and emergency targets this winter.
NHS England deputy chief executive Dame Barbara Hakin told journalists the fund would be divided between the 53 trusts judged by Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority to need it most. The selected trusts were “the ones we thought were likely to fail”, she said.
She added that the allocations would be given to trusts and “their surrounding health economies”. However, it remains unclear who will hold the funds.
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said trusts would spend roughly £62m of the total fund on “additional capacity in hospitals”, while £57m would go towards improving community services, including “end of life care and hospices.”
He added that a further £51m was earmarked for urgent care services, “for example patients with long-term conditions”, £25m was earmarked for primary care, “for example, district nursing”, and £16m for social care.
The health secretary said: “I believe it is entirely possible for us to meet our A&E target. This combination of measures means it is possible.”
However, some NHS providers warned that the £250m was less than the funding made available to tackle winter pressures last year, and was less evenly distributed. “Last year it was £330m, spread around most trusts. This year it’s only £250m, going to a few,” said one source. “And let’s face it, most people think we only just squeezed through last winter.”
The source added: “There are organisations that managed to maintain their A&E performance last year with some winter pressures funding. Many of them won’t have that funding this year.”
The fund is intended to distribute £250m this winter and another £250m the next.
The secretary of state also announced “fundamental long-term changes”, saying the Department of Health would next year introduce named clinicians “responsible for the co-ordination of [each patient’s] care right across the NHS”, and would ensure one third of A&Es and one third of NHS 111 services had access to their patients’ GP records.
He told the press conference: “The short-term help is going to be extremely important. The longer term changes will actually start this Spring.”
The press conference also saw chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies announce a flu vaccination programme for children “between two and three years old”.
Meanwhile, NHS England medical director Sir Bruce Keogh announced some of the “emerging themes” from his work on urgent and emergency care.
He told journalists “same day access to primary care” was one of the issues raised by consultation respondents that his team was looking at.
He added that one of the principles his team was considering was that patients should first engage with the system by phone before going to their GP or to A&E.
The trusts and their provisional funds
Barking, Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust £7,000,000
Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust £5,120,000
Barts Health NHS Trust £12,800,000
Croydon Health Services NHS Trust £4,500,000
Ealing Hospital NHS Trust £2,900,000
North Middlesex University Hospital Trust £3,800,000
North West London Hospitals NHS Trust £6,400,000
South London Healthcare NHS Trust £7,700,000
Whittington Health NHS Trust £2,960,000
West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust £2,300,000
Basildon and Thurrock NHS FT £2,490,000
Bedford Hospital NHS Trust £3,734,000
Derby Hospitals NHS FT £4,487,000
Heart Of England NHS FT £9,289,000
Kettering General Hospital NHS FT £3,919,000
Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust £2,869,000
Mid Staffordshire NHS FT £3,747,000
Milton Keynes Hospital NHS FT £2,763,000
Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust £4,000,000
Peterborough and Stamford NHS FT £5,050,000
Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust £4,218,000
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust £4,000,000
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn. NHS FT £3,990,000
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust £5,700,000
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust £8,000,000
University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust £4,000,000
University Hospital Of North Staffordshire NHS Trust £3,460,000
University Hospitals Of Leicester NHS Trust £10,000,000
Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust £1,000,000
Aintree University Hospital NHS FT £1,520,000
Airdale NHS FT £1,450,000
East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust £1,403,000
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS FT £914,000
Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust £1,890,000
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS FT £1,044,000
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust £2,292,000
Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust £4,042,000
Stockport NHS FT £1,530,000
Tameside Hospital NHS FT £2,475,000
University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay NHS FT £1,257,000
York Teaching Hospital NHS FT £2,061,000
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust £2,326,000
Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust £4,080,000
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust £2,300,000
Hampshire Hospitals NHS FT £3,302,000
Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS FT £6,644,000
Medway NHS FT £6,120,000
North Bristol NHS Trust £5,900,000
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust £10,207,000
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust £5,500,000
Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust £1,427,000
Royal United Bath Hospitals NHS Trust £4,426,000
Weston Area Health Trust £4,800,000