On Friday 16th June 2017, the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, confirmed that Watford General Hospital is set to benefit from a £20.7 million fund for emergency departments during the winter months.
Watford General Hospital will receive £1 million which will be used to help them properly prepare for winter, particularly to handle the large number of patients that attend A&E. Crucially, this funding will mean that staff are able to asses patients when they arrive in A&E and decide there and then where they can receive the most appropriate care. Thanks to this extra funding, Watford General Hospital will soon have a GP practice within its A&E so that patients with less urgent needs can receive treatment straight away, reducing pressure on emergency services. This is all part of the Government’s wider plans to improve A&E performance in England by 2018, particularly to get hospitals hitting the target of admitting, transferring or discharging 95% of patients within four hours.
Richard Harrington MP, who lobbied the Health Secretary for the money, said:
"I’m absolutely delighted that Watford General will be receiving an extra £1 million for their Emergency Department, as part of the Government’s winter funding for hospitals. The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has visited Watford General several times over the last few years and so when it was announced that there would be a dedicated fund for emergency departments during the winter months , I made sure Watford was at the top of the list!
I have no doubt that this will go a long way to improve our emergency services but I have to also pay tribute to the fantastic staff at the Emergency Department at Watford General, who have drastically reduced waiting times already. Watford General are currently in the top 10% of the country, with some of lowest waiting times, and this is a real credit to the hard working staff there.“