1. ITV Report

Struggling A&E departments set for £500m bailout

File photo of an ambulance outside the entrance to a hospital. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Struggling accident and emergency departments are to be given a £500 million Government bailout in a bid to help relieve pressure in the coming months.

The money, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron, will be mainly spent on trying to reduce the number of people coming into A&E in the first place.

The cash injection will be spread over the next two years and aims to prepare the service for winter.

It will also include £15 million for the troubled 111 phone service.

But, as ITV News Political Correspondent Emily Morgan has been hearing there are those who are worried this scheme rewards failure.

The emergency care system has come under intense pressure, partly because of a rise in the number of people attending A&E.

Over one million more people attend A&E than three years ago.

Some experts have blamed issues in primary care, saying patients feel they have nowhere to turn once GP surgeries are closed.

Major problems with the new 111 service for non-urgent care are also thought to have impacted on A&E.