NHS services across England are benefiting from an additional £420 million funding to help to strengthen their resilience for difficult winter months. The NHS services to receive funding include hospitals as well as social care services.
A total of £420 million was given through several funding announcements to cover a total of 81 projects. For example, £145 million funding was provided to hospitals to make improvements for winter. Other aspects include £36.3 million for ambulance services and £240 million for adult social care.
The £145 million funding for winter improvements was distributed in September 2018 to ensure improvements were made before Christmas. Hospitals used this funding in a variety of ways such as upgrading their emergency departments and increasing bed capacity. Other innovations include improving the process of transferring patients from A&E to other wards, increasing the speed of test results and creating new treatment areas.
As a result of the funding and projects, the NHS will create an additional 900 beds for winter months.
Adult social care
£240 million of government funding was given to councils as social care funding. The money can provide 30,000 additional care packages as well an extra 9,000 care home beds. The care packages can help to give individuals the support they need in their own homes.
The £36.3 million of ambulance funding has contributed to providing 250 new ambulances, 100 of which were delivered by Christmas Eve. The funding also helped with the set up of ‘make ready hubs’ which assist in getting paramedics back on the road as quickly as possible.
Discussing the funding, Stephen Hammond, the Health Minister, said; “The health and care sector has spent this money wisely, delivering upgrades and improved services in 80 hospitals, and plans to support 30,000 more people to be cared for at home this winter have helped free up vital hospital beds.”
Stephen Hammond also adds; “I’m also urging the public to help us ease pressure on the NHS this winter season. Whether that’s making use of pharmacies, calling NHS 111 to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital, or being vigilant against the spread of colds and flu – we can all help the NHS weather the challenges to come.”