Fears raised that winter funding isn’t enough to fight Omicron in Sheffield

Sheffield locals raise fears over the government’s £112m NHS investment fund.Many are worrying it won’t be enough to get through the winter months.

The North East and Yorkshire are set to receive this funding in an attempt to relieve the pressure caused by the pandemic. It will reduce waiting times, expand wards and upgrade equipment.

Many criticise this and believe the NHS needs the money elsewhere.

Andrew Smith, father of a northern NHS doctor, 59, said: “The work pressures my son has are not COVID related, his pressures are from people abusing the NHS system.

“It is people doing student things, taking drugs, getting into fights, stabbings, so what his problem is people are being stupid.

“If money was spent on the education of people to get them to understand the NHS is a limited resource and the staffing is limited, if we put money into it being respected then I would say money is well spent.

“Once people respect the NHS, then serious cases like heart disease and cancer, they can concentrate on those people rather than those abusing the system. “

How communities helped towards thanking the NHS through lockdown. @Wikicommons

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS foundation Trust received 20 bids and will be given £4.9m in capital funding and £1.1m in digital funding.

Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust received six bids and will be given £1.1m in capital funding and £516,000 in digital funding.

Now with the new COVID variant Omicron on the rise, many people are worried this is not going to be enough.

Sandra Toledo, 30, said: “It is definitely not enough money to give through the winter, especially given the current situation. We don’t know what is going to happen with the COVID variant search.

“We definitely need more.”

This funding is part of bigger national £700m investment with 785 approved schemes. The funding is distributed equally across the national, weighted by population size.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said: “Ahead of what is going to be a difficult winter, we’re putting everything behind our health and care services, so everyone can access the services they need, when they need them.

“We’re taking unprecedented steps to keep people healthy this winter, putting the booster roll-out on steroids, and delivering the largest flu vaccine programme in UK history.”

Sajid Javid

The government will also be working to recruit 18,000 more staff and secure new COVID-19 antiviral and therapeutic treatment.

Prof Stephen Powis, NHS National Medical Director, said:

“NHS staff have pulled out all the stops since the beginning of the pandemic treating more than half a million COVID patients, while continuing to perform millions of checks, tests and treatments for non-COVID reasons.”

Prof Stephen Powis

As part of the winter support and tackling the new COVID variant the government will be publishing an adult social care winter plan including £388m to support infection prevention control and £162.5m for workforce recruitment and retention.

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