NHS trusts in Essex will be handed more than £8 million to upgrade their facilities ahead of winter amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced trusts across England would receive a share of £300 million.

The additional cash will enable hospitals to maintain essential services and reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection during the coming months.

The funding comes from a £1.5 billion capital building allocation for the the NHS set out by Mr Johnson in June.

The East Suffolk and North Essex Trust, which runs Colchester Hospital, will get £3,051,000.

Mid and South Essex Hospital Trusts will be handed £4,838,000 and the Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust in Harlow will get £400,000.

Read more >>> Coronavirus infection rate figures for Colchester and Tendring are updated​

In all, 117 trusts will benefit from the funding which could be used by hospitals to increase their A&E capacity, with more treatment cubicles and expanded waiting areas to ease overcrowding and improve infection control.

It could also enable hospitals to increase the provision of same-day emergency care and improve patient flows to help them to better respond to winter pressures and the risks of fresh coronavirus outbreaks.

Officials said the projects would all be completed by the start of 2021 so that hospitals would benefit from the upgrades during the peak months of winter.

Mr Johnson said: “We continue to deliver on our promise to build back better and faster, with £300 million allocated today for NHS trusts to upgrade their facilities and improve A&E capacity.

“These upgrades will help our fantastic NHS prepare for the winter months, helping them to deliver essential services and reduce the risk of coronavirus infections.”