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  1. ITV Report

Health Secretary Matt Hancock predicts another tough winter for region's hospitals

Health Secretary Matt Hancock talks to health professionals at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge Credit: ITV Anglia

Health secretary Matt Hancock said it could be another tough winter for NHS hospitals in the East of England.

In an interview marking his first 100 days as Health Secretary, Hancock told ITV News Anglia that regional emergency departments would struggle to meet their targets.

The Government expects 95% of patients to be treated within four hours in A&E.

However, Mr Hancock doesn't expect them to the reach this goal.

"I think that would be very difficult, and if they do, I will admire that enormously, but I recognise the pressure that they’re under."

– Matt Hancock, Health Secretary
Mr Hancock talking to ITV News Anglia's Emma Hutchinson. Credit: ITV Anglia

Mr Hancock said he was committed to the NHS. He credits the service for saving his sister's life when she was injured in a riding accident.

He insisted that winter pressures on national NHS services will be tackled.

"We’ve put in another £400m since I became Health Secretary in order to deal with that. Just under half of it has gone into A&E departments, to how they’re constructed to make them work better."

– Matt Hancock, Health Secretary

Many health professionals are desperate to see the changes that Hancock described.

Teresa Budrey, Regional Director (Eastern), Royal College of Nursing Credit: ITV Anglia

“He’s come at a time when nursing is on its knees. We’re at a time where all of our services, not just the NHS, but social care and care homes require support. They require investment around training and around workplace planning."

– Teresa Budrey, Regional Director (Eastern), Royal College of Nursing

Mr Hancock spoke about improving mental health services, with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is in special measures.

He also said Addenbrooke's, West Suffolk and surrounding GP surgeries have improved their digital communication. He claims that some of the world's most advanced technology is being developed in this region.