Posted: Wed 5th Aug 2020

Updated: Wed 5th Aug

£800m “stabilisation package” aimed at helping NHS pandemic response and planning funding

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

An £800m “stabilisation package” to help the Welsh NHS continue to respond to the impact of the coronavirus crisis and prepare for a possible second wave has been announced.

Welsh Government say the fund aims to support NHS organisations across Wales to prepare for the anticipated challenges that winter will bring – responding to a potential second wave of the virus, alongside normal winter pressures – whilst continuing to further increase access to essential services.

Plans for the new funding include a “strategic approach” to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for both the health and social care sectors, so that an appropriate ‘buffer’ of supplies can be established to respond to any second wave of infections.

The fund will also pay for the field hospitals – including the temporary hospital at Deeside Leisure Centre – to remain on standby.

Welsh Government say:

It will also ensure that a reliable supply of PPE is available for primary care providers – including GPs, dentists and optometrists.

This new funding will also help deliver Wales’ largest ever flu campaign, announced last month, which will ensure more people than ever will benefit from the free flu vaccine programme in preparation for winter.

With the real possibility for further peaks during the autumn and winter months this investment will also ensure faster turnaround of test results to support contact tracing, so that Wales can respond rapidly to contain any spread of the virus.

It will also help to provide health boards with sufficient capacity, both through existing hospital sites and access to field hospitals as a contingency, if needed.

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said: “We understand the growing financial pressures and challenges being faced across the public sector and we are doing all we can to alleviate these.

“I am confident that today’s announcement will provide our NHS with the stability it needs to respond to the pandemic.

“We are also continuing to work with local authorities to understand the considerable pressures they are facing and their priorities so that we can provide them with further support.”

Health and Social Services Minister Vaughan Gething added: “Our health and social care services have faced unparalleled pressures in the fight against Covid-19. It is a testament to our dedicated NHS staff that Wales’ patients have continued to receive compassionate and professional care during this pandemic.

“Whilst our services rigorously prepare every year for winter pressures, 2020 may be unlike any other. This £800m package will help with many aspects as we move into the next phase of the virus such as PPE supplies, testing and an ambitious flu vaccination programme.”

 Shadow Minister for Health, Andrew RT Davies MS, said:

“Our fantastic NHS staff deserve full credit for the exemplary work they have carried out, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, in delivering first-class care to patients, and today’s latest funding announcement will allow them to continue their work.

 “The UK Conservative Government has done everything in its power to equip the Welsh Labour-led Government with the necessary tools to help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in Wales.

 “And, ultimately, without the UK Government’s historic funding packages today’s announcement would not have been possible.

 “This money needs to increase access to vital health provision which has been closed or greatly reduced since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. As we have seen with the number of cancer deaths it is vital that these pathways to treatment are reopened as soon as possible to prevent as few premature deaths as possible.

 “The UK Conservative Government is in the driving seat in ensuring Wales is best equipped in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 



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