Hancock: £240 million to ease social care pressure this winter
Matt Hancock announced on Monday at the Conservative Party Conference an injection of £240 million into the social care system to ease pressure on the NHS this winter.
This money could buy 71,500 domestic care packages or 86,500 reablement packages.
Routed through local councils, this will fund packages of care to prevent older people from going into hospital unnecessarily and getting people home quickly when medically fit to leave.
The money will be specifically focused on reducing winter pressure on the NHS, and councils will be allocated the funding based on the adult social care relative needs formula. They can also choose to spend the money on housing adaptions or taking measures to prevent hospital admissions as well as provide step down or other care packages.
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary:
“I want to help the NHS through this winter too.
“I have already provided funding for hospitals to make upgrades to their buildings to deal with pressures this winter.
“And I can announce that today I am making an extra £240million available to pay for social care packages this winter to support our NHS.
“We will use this money to get people who don’t need to be in hospital, but do need care, back home, back into their communities, so we can free up those vital hospital beds.
"And help people who really need it, get the hospital care they need.”
We have provided billions of pounds more funding for social care. With 1.5 million more over 75s expected in the next 10 years, we recognise the growing pressure on social care as our population ages. The government has provided billions of pounds for social care:
- The Government has given councils access to £9.4 billion dedicated funding for adult social care over the three years from 2017/18.
- We announced an additional £2 billion for adult social care.
- The Government announced a further £150 million in 2018-19 for an Adult Social Care Support Grant.
·We are introducing a package of measures to boost support over the winter period. These include taking action to reduced long stays in hospital, expanding same day emergency care, and ensuring primary care extended access is in place across the country, with an additional GP nine million appointments per year. We are also taking action to safely reduce ambulances conveying patients to hospital through increased ‘hear and treat’ and ‘see and treat’.
·We took action to address delayed transfers of care during 2017-18. The spring budget prioritised £2bn additional funding for adult social care services, in part to help reduce pressures on the NHS from DTOC. Both the NHS and social care have been working hard to reduce delays and free up beds, and overall trends indicate that the NHS and social care system are continuing to reduce delays.
- As a result of cross-system action, delays have reduced - up to 1,900 beds were freed-up over the winter period.
- There were 139,983 total delayed days in July 2018 (or 4,516 delayed days per day), compared with 181,891 total delayed days in July 2017 (or 5,867 delayed days per day) - a decrease of 23%.
- And overall DTOCs due to social care have fallen by 1,044 a day since February 2017 – a reduction of 43%. The latest data shows that there were 2,145 fewer beds occupied by a delayed transfer in July 2018 compared to the baseline (February 2017).
- We have given the NHS £145m to improve emergency care ahead of winter. The government is giving more than £145 million to NHS trusts across the country ahead of winter to improve emergency care. The funding is being spent on 81 new schemes to upgrade wards, redevelop A&E departments, improve same-day emergency care, and improve systems for managing the number of beds in use. (Gov.uk, Press release,link)
- For the first time, children in school year 5 will be offered the flu vaccine, meaning that all children aged between 2 and 9 will be offered the flu vaccine. And NHS leaders have also announced an ambition for 100% of frontline workers to get the flu vaccine to protect patients as part of a comprehensive plan for this winter.