Extra cash will help east London patients cope in winter

East London patients are expected to benefit from extra cash awarded to Barts Health NHS Trust by the health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The Trust, which runs six hospitals including Newham General, Whipps Cross and The Royal London, will receive £12.8m out of more than £55 million announced for 10 Trust across the capital by Mr Hunt to help them cope with an expected surge of A&E patients this winter.

It is part of £250 million of extra cash he has found to tackle the rising demand in casualty departments across the country.

A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust, said; “The £12.8m funding is for the health care system in North East London and we will be working in close collaboration with Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities to ensure the benefit to our patients is maximised.”

She said although exact details of where the money would be spent were still being worked out the focus would be on four main areas.

They are:

*Identifying patients, such as the elderly, who could be better served in the community without hospital admission.

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*Quicker clinical assessment of patients by senior doctors to see if they need to be admitted

*Ensuring that patients have access to the full spectrum of diagnostic options 24/7 and more focus on discharge planning

*Liaising closely with other healthcare professionals so that there is continuing care for discharged patients

The extra money is particularly welcome at Barts Health NHS Trust which recently called in financial experts to help sort out its budget crisis.