Dunne welcomes Health Secretary, Steve Barclay’s announcement that over £200m will be invested in supporting discharge of patients from hospitals across the UK. This will relieve pressure this winter and has been provided to integrated care boards for immediate use.
A further £50m has been allocated for the creation of modular units in hospitals which will help free up bed spaces – meaning ambulances can get back onto the road sooner to deal with emergency one calls and enabling faster response times.
The announcement means £1.7m has been provided to Shropshire NHS Integrated Care Board to help facilitate the new national discharge process to reduce risk and improve patient safety. This in turn will increase capacity to discharge patients and create improved flow in acute hospitals in Shropshire and Telford.
Funding for Adult Social Care will contribute towards four weeks of a new extended care package following discharge for patients who no longer meet in-patient criteria. Additionally, clinical advice or therapeutic will be available where appropriate in step-down facility to help patients with recovery, reconditioning and rehabilitation.
The Government is running a national campaign to recruit extra staff needed to support more packages of care. The £500m social care discharge fund announced last September can be used for the recruitment and retention of the care workforce. A further £15m was set aside to further boost overseas recruitment opportunities.
Commenting on the update, Philip Dunne said:
“The Government recognises current winter pressures on the NHS and is helping the NHS deal with discharge some 10,000 elderly patients who occupy beds, while medically fit for discharge. Fixing the link between discharge and after care, whether in social care settings or at home, is imperative.
“I am glad the Department for Health is using medical advances like virtual beds, artificial intelligence, and better analytics to better understand the use of time between admittance and discharge.
“This should help with the delays to ambulance response times and patient handovers as it will improve patient flow through our acute hospitals”.