Government announces £7 billion boost for health and social care
A funding package of £7 billion has been confirmed for health and social care services, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.
The NHS will receive £6.6 billion in additional funding over the next 6 months to support the continuation of the NHS response to COVID-19, and the recovery of elective services as hospitalisations continue to fall. This brings the total package of additional support given to health services for COVID-19 to £92 billion, with £63 billion this year and £29 billion for next year.
The funding will support the hospital discharge programme, primary care costs, infection control measures and long COVID services. It will also ensure the NHS can continue to provide the mental health and occupational health support services it has put in place for nurses, paramedics, therapists, pharmacists, and other staff working on the frontline during the pandemic.
In addition, the Government has announced an extra £341 million for adult social care to enable the continuation of rigorous infection prevention control measures and to support rapid testing to keep staff and residents safe in day care, respite care, care homes and other community care settings. This will support the protection of some of the most vulnerable in society as we begin to cautiously ease restrictions and reintroduce visits to care homes.
As hospital admissions fall and the vaccination programme continues, the NHS will be able to start increasing elective care procedures. To support this, £594 million has been ring-fenced to continue the hospital discharge programme so staff will have the resources needed to enable patients to leave hospital as quickly and as safely as possible, with the right community or at-home support. This will free up thousands of extra beds and staff time to help the NHS recover services.
Alongside this, an additional £87 million will provide enhanced discharge from inpatient mental health care, enabling people who are well enough to leave hospital with additional support to help them recover in the community. Funding will be available over the next 9 months for short-term support, and may be used to offer support in homes, to help people cope with things like daily routines, tenancy, finances, personal care or employment, to provide temporary accommodation or to adapt homes. This funding forms part of the £500 million for mental health and the NHS workforce announced at Spending Review.