Southend Hospital is set to get a funding boost of £9.7m from the Government to reduce overcrowding and improve infection control in the run up to winter.

The investment comes as part of the Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock's plan to help hospitals cope over the coming months with the added pressures of Covid-19.

The additional £150m takes the government's total spending on hospital upgrades across England to £450m this winter. 

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are investing £450 million to make sure our A&E departments are ready for winter. Hospitals around the country will be able to expand and upgrade to ensure they can continue safely treating patients in the coming months.

“During the peak of the pandemic we saw millions of people using NHS 111 to get the best possible advice on Covid-19, and other urgent NHS services.

"These pilots will build on this and test whether we can deliver quicker access to the right care, provide a better service for the public and ensure our dedicated NHS staff aren’t overwhelmed.

“We all need to play our part by washing our hands regularly, using a face covering and keeping our distance from those not in our household. We are determined to protect the NHS as we did during the peak.”