NEW funding should make a visit to A&E at Hereford County Hospital quicker this winter, the NHS trust’s chief has said.

Wye Valley NHS Trust has been handed £2 million to improve its A&E in Hereford as part of a £300 million package announced by Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

The trust’s chief executive Glen Burley said the money, which was announced during the Prime Minister’s visit to the hospital, will help them prepare for winter and “re-engineer” the department.

He remains optimistic the new £2 million funding from the Government will make a big difference, especially for same-day – known as ambulatory – emergency care.

His hope is patients will be assessed, treated and sent home “as soon as possible”

“With the £2 million we have plans to make some more space, use some areas that are currently non-clinical and make them clinical to move our ambulatory emergency care around a bit,” Mr Burley said after Mr Johnson’s visit.

“Space is one thing but staff is another. As part of the visit the Prime Minister met one of our specialist nurses doing frailty.

“Developing those skills so we can treat people in the same day and do the diagnostics on the same day is on challenge for our workforce.

“We have a really good team here now, so we’re in a good place from this point.”

He added: “The money we’ve been awarded, we will be moving quite quickly to get that in place and indeed by January.”

The scale of the winter pressure on the hospital was revealed by waiting time figures at A&E in January 2020.

In one week 67 patients a day were arriving by ambulance on average, and of those 13 had to wait more than 30 minutes in the ambulance and nearly two had to wait an hour or more.

Bosses also made repeated calls for people to stay away from A&E unless they are seriously ill.