National leaders have agreed at least half of the £335m winter funding announced in the budget should support trusts that were already buying in extra capacity, HSJ understands.

This will help support the bottom line of hospital providers with accident and emergency departments, which were facing additional pressure on their financial position due to the extra capacity they have purchased.

This would appear to satisfy calls from trust leaders reported by HSJ last week.

The remainder of the funding is likely to be available to areas that can commission new capacity that had not been arranged prior to the budget.

From this, it has been confirmed that £18m will be available for mental health, with an expectation it is spent on supporting A&E services.

The allocations, which are being drawn up between NHS England and NHS Improvement, are expected to be confirmed this week.