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Extra 'winter pressures' funding

In August 2013, the Department of Health announced it was planning on spending £250m in 2013 and £250m in 2014 to ease 'winter pressures'.

The money was intended to be allocated to emergency departments in about 50 of the highest risk health economies in England.

The move was perceived controversial by some, as it appeared that the department might reward poor performance. Others suggested the general election was the critical factor in the additional payments.

Although the extra funding was relatively small in the context of the wider NHS budget, the coalition government's health reforms were supposed to have ended the practice of Ministers providing additional short-term funding to NHS provider organisations, with the powers to allocate such funding removed by the Health and Social Care Act 2012. This was an early sign that the influence of the secretary of state was likely to transcend the limits of the role as set out in legislation.


Williams D, Clover B.
Treasury to divert £250m a year to high risk A&Es.
Health Service Journal; 2014.