North East NHS trusts are to receive £17m out of a £300m funding package to upgrade their facilities for winter amid fears of a second coronavirus wave, Boris Johnson has announced.

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

NHS trusts across the North East and Yorkshire have been allocated £53.7m, with just over £17.1m of that going to the North East.

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

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.

The amounts allocated to North East NHS trusts are as follows:

County Durham and Darlington - £.3.7m

Gateshead Health - £1.4m

Northumbria Healthcare - £1m

South Tyneside and Sunderland - £3.7m

Newcastle Hospitals - £1m

North Tees and Hartlepool - £3m

South Tees - £3.2m

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."

It comes on top of a £3 billion cash injection for the NHS in England - with extra funding also for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - announced last month to help it to cope with the expected winter pressures.

That funding has been earmarked to enable the NHS to continue to use the extra hospital capacity acquired from the independent sector, maintain the Nightingale hospitals until the end of March and expand its flu vaccination programme.

Mr Johnson said it was essential that people who needed emergency treatment during the winter should attend hospital, confident that they will not become infected with the virus.

"Thanks to the hard work and tireless efforts of NHS staff throughout the pandemic, our A&Es have remained open for the public," he said.

"It's vital that those who need emergency treatment this winter access it, and for those who remain concerned about visiting hospitals, let me assure you that the NHS has measures in place to keep people safe."