Following the confirmation of an allocation of £300million in NHS funding to upgrade Emergency Department facilities this winter, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Dr Katherine Henderson said

“We are delighted to see confirmation of additional winter funds to help upgrade Emergency Department facilities. This funding will help to ensure we can deliver vital emergency services safely this winter. 

“Many of our departments are too small, run down, and in need of repair. They urgently need to be repurposed and rebuilt to improve infection prevention and control and to maintain important social distancing measures. We are concerned about the impact a second spike in COVID19 infections and a significant flu outbreak may have on our departments. This funding will help us to ensure our Emergency Departments are physically fit-for-purpose as we move into a winter where we must combat the double challenge of COVID19 and winter pressures.   

“We welcome this extra funding and look forward to seeing more detail on additional funds promised to rebuild some of the oldest and dilapidated departments.

“It is our number one priority to deliver high quality, safe patient care and our biggest concern is ensuring crowding does not return to our Emergency Departments this winter. If we are crowded, we cannot protect our patients and staff. We urge anyone who does not have an emergency care need to contact NHS 111 or their GP in the first instance.