Winter A&E campaign to relieve pressure

The waiting room at Wigan Accident and Emergency department

The waiting room at Wigan Accident and Emergency department

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WIGAN hospital chiefs say they will look to try and obtain extra funding after the government released an extra £300m to help A&E departments to cope this winter.

Only yesterday Wigan Infirmary bosses plead with the public to think before attending A&E as staff struggled to cope with the sheer volume of people attending.

The department has struggled to hit the four-hour waiting time target this year, but Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said performance should improve now that the total winter fund is up to £700m following the latest cash boost.

Hospitals are expected to see 95 per cent of patients within four hours.

Mr Hunt said, with the extra money and measures being put in place, he would expect “performance to improve on current levels”.

“We are boosting front-line services and expect the NHS to ensure strong performance is delivered locally, drawing on the multi-million pound support package that the government has provided,” he added.

The plans will see local medical experts identify pressure points and a range of measures to address them, including more action to keep people out of hospital, closer involvement of GPs and social service organisations, and a public information campaign encouraging people with non-urgent medical problems to use the full range of NHS services.

More people are using A&E than ever before, with 22 million visits a year, and compared to 2010 the NHS handles more than 3,000 extra attendances every day. But with many more extra visits to A&E, the pressures are real and it is vital the NHS is well supported say NHS chiefs.