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Government’s £40 million urgent and emergency care fund allocated to ease local winter pressures

The government has announced the allocation of a £40 million fund for local authorities to strengthen urgent and emergency care resilience and performance this winter.

Local authorities within integrated care systems (ICSs) identified by NHS England as experiencing the greatest challenges with urgent and emergency care were invited to put forward proposals for access to the fund and today the government has set out details of how much each local authority will receive.

This is in addition to £200 million announced in September 2023 to boost resilience in the NHS and help patients get the care they need as quickly as possible this winter. It can be used to buy more services aimed at keeping people out of hospital, as well as more packages of home care, which allow people to leave hospital faster and build back their independence.

Minister of State for Care, Helen Whately, said:

“We know winter will be challenging, which is why we started preparing earlier than ever before so people get the care they need. We’re supporting local councils with targeted funding to use where it’s needed most.

With a focus on speeding up hospital discharge and increasing social care provision, this money will help the NHS care for people through the winter.”

Home care packages can include enabling a carer to come to an individual’s home a couple of times a day and help them with tasks including getting dressed. The funding can also be used to increase the amount of specialist dementia support available in the community, services which also help to keep people out of hospital.

Other local authority proposals included plans for services such as patient transport provision to take people home from hospital, the provision of technology to monitor people at home, and additional capacity to undertake more assessments of an individual’s care needs.

This fund will also allow local authorities to boost social care provision, strengthen admissions avoidance services and speed up discharge rates this winter.

Compared to this time last October, there has been a 9 percent fall in the number of patients staying in hospital after they are ready to be discharged, freeing up space on wards and helping flow through the system.

 

Kirsty

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