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Government announce £700m financial support for NHS this winter

Hospitals across the country will benefit from a share of £700m to expand wards, install modular operating theatres, upgrade outpatient spaces and MRI and screening technology, to help reduce waiting lists.

The funding, to be split across all regions in England, will help reduce waiting times for patients by expanding the number of operating theatres and beds, including new day surgery units to prevent people staying overnight and investment in technology to improve their experiences of care and help them manage their conditions.

Alongside this, the government is today publishing a document setting out the key challenges facing NHS and social care services this winter, including COVID-19 and the potential threat of variants, preparations being undertaken to keep people safe and healthy, as well as the actions the public can take.

It comes after the COVID-19 booster programme was extended to all adults in England – with everyone aged over 18 to be offered a booster by the end of January – to help protect against the Omicron variant.

Today’s investment is part of the £5.4bn already announced to support the NHS response to the pandemic in the second half of the year. In total, the government is investing over £34bn of additional funding in health and social care services this year.

The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. To fix this, the NHS needs to be able to offer more appointments, operations and treatments. New, innovative practices must be adopted so patients continue to receive the best possible care.

The allocations for the £700m announced today include £330m for upgrading NHS facilities, £250m for new technology and £120m for any supporting revenue costs.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said: “Ahead of what is going to be a difficult winter, we’re putting everything behind our health and care services, so everyone can access the services they need, when they need them. Our £700m investment will help more people get treated over the coming months by upgrading wards, operating theatres, and diagnostic kit. We’re taking unprecedented steps to keep people healthy this winter, putting the booster roll-out on steroids, and delivering the largest flu vaccine programme in UK history. We can all play our part in the national mission – when you get the call, please get the jab.”

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