THE trust which runs Colchester Hospital incurred extra costs of £3.4 million related to the Covid-19 outbreak during one month.

The cash was spent on additional running costs at Colchester and Ipswich hospitals throughout the month of May, when the Government declared the pandemic has passed its peak in the UK.

Andrew Lehain, deputy director of finance at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said the figure covered additional staff costs, consumables, drugs and equipment which will help with future demand.

The trust’s managing director Neill Moloney added: “A lot of what we have had to put in place has been necessary to manage Covid-19 and some of that will not be necessary going forward and we will look to abandon whatever processes or actions that we’ve put in place.

“But some of that we are looking to adopt.

“So some of the investments we’ve put in place that might have supported, for example, some of the discharge arrangements out into the community, we may wish to retain, because we know that will give us a lasting benefit.”

He added: “Some of that frankly is going to be an ongoing running cost.

“One of the pieces of work we’re doing with each of the divisions is starting to consider the on-going requirements of managing Covid-19.”