Integrated care systems with the greatest urgent and emergency care challenges are to receive more of the government £40 million fund for local authorities to strengthen resilience and performance this winter.
The three highest beneficiaries are in the South East. Kent will receive the largest share at £2.9m, Hampshire will receive £2.2m and Norfolk just under £2m (full table below).
The Department for Health and Social Care said this is in addition to £200 million announced in September and that it can be used to buy services aimed at keeping people out of hospital, as well as packages of home care, which allow people to leave hospital faster. It also highlighted that compared to October last year there has been a 9% drop in the number of patients staying in hospital after they are ready to be discharged.
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.’
The funding can also be used to increase the amount of specialist dementia support available in the community, 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.
Director of the NHS Confederation’s Acute Network, Rory Deighton, said: ‘Health leaders will welcome access to any funding that can help to bolster services in the community as we approach winter. With hospital bed occupancy and other pressures already very high they hope that the release of this funding for local authorities will support preparations that the NHS has been putting in place already to keep people well.
‘While the NHS is committed to working hand in glove with local authorities to support people over winter, our members are eager to see a shift from these emergency pots of rescue money being needed and towards more multi-year funding allocations that will help public services plan more effectively.
‘This year, this worry is compounded by the cost of industrial action which is estimated to be at over £1.4 billion. Whilst the department announced £800 million to cover some of this cost last month, the majority of this needs to be found from existing budgets and indications are it will need to be clawed back from central digital and capital funds.
‘This will stymie the ability of NHS leaders to reach the stretching productivity targets set out in the NHS Long-Term Workforce Plan and in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement for all public services.’
The regional allocations were paid yesterday (December 4).
|Authorities to which the grant is to be paid
|Amount of grant to be paid
|Barking and Dagenham
|Cheshire West and Chester
|City of London
|East Riding of Yorkshire
|Herefordshire, County of
|Isle of Wight
|Kingston upon Hull, City of
|North East Lincolnshire
|Telford and Wrekin
|Windsor and Maidenhead