The Department of Health and Social Care has announced £240 million extra funding, aimed at providing local authorities the assistance required to reduce anticipated Winter pressures in the NHS.
It is hoped that reducing delayed transfers of care / discharging patients more quickly will free-up hospital beds and reduce both NHS costs and related pressures. This extra funding for community-based health and social care is to be allocated to councils rationally, prioritised according to the adult social care relative needs formula.
“Over the past 18 months, the NHS and councils have worked together to cut delayed discharges, freeing up 4 hospitals-worth of beds across England. This money will allow councils to build on that progress”.
Recent government investment on the health and care system aimed at preparing for the coming Winter exceeds £420 million, yet the usual questions have arisen whether this will (could ever?) be enough.
£240 million social care investment to ease NHS winter pressures. [Online]: Department of Health and Social Care, October 2nd 2018.
Hospital overcrowding problems kick-in early:
Hospitals ‘overcrowding risk’ ahead of Christmas. London: BBC Health News, December 13th 2018.
Over £145 million is available to NHS trusts to upgrade wards / A&E departments and improve emergency care ready for Winter.
Hospitals to receive £145 million to prepare for winter demand. [Online]: Department of Health and Social Care, September 7th 2018.
Earlier, £36.3 million allowed ambulances trusts to prepare for Winter with new ambulances, and “make ready hubs” at ambulance trust headquarters for re-stocking and maintenance of vehicles.
Multi-million pound investment in new ambulances for the NHS. [Online]: Department of Health and Social Care, July 6th 2018.
Re-announced 3 months later:
NHS better equipped for winter with £420 million funding:Hospitals and social care services across England are using the funding to improve their resilience this winter. [Online]: Department of Health and Social Care, January 3rd 2019.
Optimistic words of re-assurance?
Hospitals ‘coping better with winter’. London: BBC Health News, January 3rd 2019.
Signs of improvement, some say.
Triggle, N. (2019). A&E waits at worst level for 15 years in England. London: BBC Health News, February 14th 2019.