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News archive - January 2012

Extra funding to help patients leaving hospital

Extra funding to help patients leaving hospital

AN EXTRA £150m is to be made available to local authorities to help people leave hospital more quickly and receive care at home.

The extra money will be spent on social care so that people can get settled back at home with the support they need and have shorter stays in hospital. It will help to get the services in place that people may need to live independently at home.

The money will be allocated to Primary Care Trusts, for them to transfer to local authorities to spend on social care support. PCTs and local authorities will decide how best to use the additional funding to make the greatest impact on relieving additional pressures on hospitals over the remainder of the winter period.

The extra £150m funding is in addition to the £648m allocated to PCTs this financial year to support social care services. Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said: “It is absolutely crucial that the NHS and local authorities work together to help people leave hospital when they are ready. The benefits are on all sides - patients get to go home with the support they and their families need, and hospital beds are freed up.”

“This money will help cut the delays in getting the equipment and adaptations that people can need to enable them to live independently at home - saving them from an unnecessary stay in hospital or going into residential care.”

In addition, the DoH is providing an extra £20m for the Disabled Facilities Grant.

A recent survey carried out by the charity Age UK in association with Nursing Times, identifies cuts in social care provision as a key factor in the numbers of patients being unnecessarily stuck in hospital, which increased in 2011. Eight out of ten nurses believe a reduction in social care services, which has led to understaffing and inadequate communication within the health and social care system, had contributed to the delayed discharge of many older patients.

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