Thousands of NHS patients in England will be discharged from hospitals to care homes, under new plans revealed by Government.
The move aimed at reducing pressure on the NHS was announced by the Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, earlier this month.
The government will make available up to £200 million of additional funding to immediately buy short-term care placements to allow people to be discharged safely from hospitals into the community where they will receive the care they need to recover before returning to their homes.
The move will free up hospital beds so people can be admitted more quickly from A&E to wards, reducing pressure on emergency departments and speeding up ambulance handovers. There are currently around 13,000 people occupying hospital beds in England who are fit to be discharged.
The £200 million will fund maximum stays of up to 4 weeks per patient until the end of March. Integrated care boards – organisations that arrange health services in each local area – will begin booking beds that are most appropriate to patients’ needs.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said: “I am taking urgent action to reduce pressure on the health service, including investing an additional £200 million to enable the NHS to immediately buy up beds in the community to safely discharge thousands of patients from hospital and free up hospital capacity, on top of the £500 million we’ve already invested to tackle this issue.”