A HOSPITAL trust will receive nearly £5 million from the government to increase its A&E capacity this winter.

The Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals, will receive £4,838,000.

This is on top of the additional £3 billion that Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced to help prepare the NHS for the winter months ahead.

The extra £4.8m will help the trust to increase the amount of people it can have in the accident and emergency departments, put enhanced infection prevention and control measures in place as well as make improvements to emergency care and services.

Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, welcomed the news.

He said: “I was delighted to visit Southend Hospital last week, and I know how welcome this additional funding will be.

“Staff at the trust have worked tirelessly over recent months, and I would like to thank them for everything they have done to get our community through the coronavirus pandemic.

“This funding to upgrade A&Es across the trust will ensure that we are in the best possible position for the challenges that the winter months may bring.”

James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, said: “Staff at Southend Hospital and across the NHS have done an incredible job throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“I would like to thank them, once again, for the work they continue to do to keep us safe.

“This additional £4.8 million investment for the trust is very welcome and the upgrades will ensure our A&E facilities across the trust are prepared for what can be a busy winter period.”

In June, Boris Johnson announced plans for a £5 billion infrastructure spend to boost the economy after the pandemic.

Of these funds, £1.5 billion would be allocated to the NHS to extend hospitals’ capacity.

Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, said: “As winter draws ever closer, we must brace ourselves for a difficult period.

"I am pleased that the government has made this funding available to ensure that we are in the best possible position to face the challenges ahead of us this winter.”

The hospital trust was contacted for comment.