MORE than £1 million in NHS funding from the government has been given to Swindon to help pay for a new ward at Great Western Hospital.

The £1.3 million grant is one of several given to NHS trusts around the region to improve services and access to much-needed care during the busy winter months

Great Western Hospital Trust's acting chief executive Kevin McNamara said: “The money we successfully bid for will help to fund the opening of an additional ward on the hospital site, providing beds for up to 30 medical patients over the winter period.

"This has been made possible by moving a ward, which is currently being used for patients with rehabilitation needs, to available space in a nursing home.

“We will be funding extra junior doctor shifts around the clock on the Medical Assessment Unit to ensure new patients are seen as quickly as possible to support safety. It will also enable us to provide extra therapy support to help medical patients be assessed, treated and safely discharged more quickly.

“All of these initiatives will help our staff to improve the safe flow of patients through the hospital. We would urge people to make the right choice about which healthcare service they choose this winter.

"If you’re not sure what to do, please call NHS 111 where trained advisors are available 24 hours a day to provide guidance.”

The funding comes from the Department of Health and Social Care’s existing budget.