The Government have published the allocation for each local authority and Integrated Care Board (ICB) of the new £500 million Discharge Fund.
Patients will benefit from faster access to emergency treatment following the cash injection to free up hospital beds through quicker discharge, which will also help reduce ambulance handover times.
£300 million will be given to integrated care boards (ICBs) to improve bed capacity and £200 million for local authorities to bolster the social care workforce, increasing capacity to take on more patients from hospitals.
Local areas will be free to spend this money on initiatives which will have the greatest impact in their area on reducing discharges into social care, which in most areas will mean prioritising home care. Funding may also be used to boost adult social care workforce capacity, through staff recruitment and retention, where that will help reduce delayed discharges.
Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council are set to receive £1,161,519 and £645,242 respectively, split between two payment tranches to be made in December this year and January next year.
In addition, Shropshire ICB will receive £3,420,000 over the same period.
South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne has welcomed the news, commenting
“Having authored a letter with other Shropshire MPs to the Heath Secretary earlier this month urging an early announcement of the allocation to be made for Shropshire of the £500m social care discharge fund, I am pleased that the Government have confirmed over £5 million for our area.
“Discharging patients from hospitals to the social care sector or to their own homes with home care is a key element of improving patient flow through the NHS which will help to reduce delays, ease demands on hospital beds and bring down unacceptable ambulance handover times.
“I have been working closely with West Midlands Ambulance Service, NHS and Council Leaders and others over the last year to get the patient-flow back on a trajectory towards meeting national clinical targets for ambulance attendance times, handover times on arrival at hospital, time spent in emergency departments before admission and patient discharge for those medically fit at the other end of their hospital treatment.
“The additional £5 million allocated to Shropshire and Telford from the Discharge Fund will be a significant boost to this process.”