King's Lynn hospital bosses welcome new funding and plead for public to help them through winter
Hospital bosses in Lynn have welcomed the announcement of nearly £2 million in extra funding to help prepare for winter and a potential new surge of the coronavirus.
But managers at the town's Queen Elizabeth Hospital have also urged the public to help maximise the benefits of the cash by having their flu jab and maintaining social distancing.
Earlier today, the government announced the QEH had been allocated £1.9 million out of a £300 million package for NHS trusts in England.
The trust is one of more than 100, which includes all three of Norfolk's main hospitals, to be allocated a share of the funding.
Denise Smith, the QEH's chief operating officer, said: “We’re pleased to have been allocated nearly £2million to strengthen our planning for this winter.
"This year more than ever this funding will help us ensure that we can put in place effective measures to allow us treat all of our patients as safely and as quickly possible.
“We will use this funding to make further improvements to our Emergency Pathway, creating more space and making the environment more comfortable for our patients.
"These improvements will help support the wider Trust to deliver a high level of care during the busy winter period.
But Ms Smith said the people of West Norfolk will still have an important role to play over the months ahead.
She said: “While the extra funding will support our winter planning, the very best thing our local community can do to support us this winter is have their flu jab – the flu jab will help protect them, their families, our Trust and our patients and will reduce the pressure on our hospital.
“We are also encouraging the local community to keep up their good work on social distancing – keeping socially distanced and following the restrictions in place will help reduce the risk of a second wave of COVID-19, particularly during the traditionally busy winter period.”
This year, the flu vaccine will be offered to the following groups:
Adults aged 65 and over
People with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from six months of age)
People living with someone who's at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
Children aged 2 and 3 on 31 August 2020
Primary school pupils and children in year 7
Frontline health or social care workers.
The vaccination programme may also be extended later in the autumn to include the over-50s.