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Trusts have used part of £700m winter pressures fund to pay off debts, doctors claim

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1231 (Published 04 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1231
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1The BMJ

Only a fraction of the £700m allocated by the government to help ease pressures in emergency departments in England this winter has been spent on frontline emergency department services, say senior clinicians.

A College of Emergency Medicine survey of senior consultants working in emergency departments found that only 1% (£6 685 000) of the money allocated by the government for 2014-15 was spent directly on emergency department services.1 The college said that the “derisory” allocation was a result of hospital trusts using additional funds to pay off debts and diverting funds to schemes that had failed to reduce attendances or admissions.

The survey of senior emergency department consultants across the United Kingdom found slow progress …

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