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U.K. Hospitals Get 500 Million-Pound Boost to Prepare for Winter

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Aug. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. government is providing 500 million pounds ($775 million) to National Health Service hospitals over the next two years to help their accident and emergency departments cope with winter illnesses.

The cash -- 250 million pounds this year and next -- will be targeted at “pinch points” that are most at risk of running into capacity difficulties, the Department of Health said in an e-mailed statement.

“With over a million more people visiting A&E in the last three years, services and staff can find themselves under pressure during the busier winter period,” Prime Minister David Cameron said. “The additional funding will go to hospitals where the pressure will be greatest, with a focus on practical measures that relieve pinch points in local services.”

Cameron’s government suffered a setback to its program to overhaul the health service last week when the High Court ruled that its decision to cut accident and emergency and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital in south London was illegal. The court ruled that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt overstepped his powers when he overruled local health professionals to make the cuts.

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in London at tpenny@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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