The government has announced that it will invest £200 million with the aim of boosting resilience in the NHS and helping patients get the care they need as quickly as possible this winter.
The new funding comes after the Prime Minister and Health and Social Care Secretary met clinical leaders and NHS chiefs to drive forward planning to ease pressures in urgent and emergency care while protecting waiting list targets this winter.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said: "I know winter brings immense challenges for the NHS which is why we are working with health leaders to make sure we are prepared earlier. We are working closely with Trusts to see how we can continue to use technology and new ways of working to strengthen health and social services, alongside the thousands of new hospital beds and hundreds of new ambulances we are already providing."
Chief Executive of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard, said: "NHS staff are already working incredibly hard to prepare for this year with robust plans underway to boost capacity, including through having more ambulances on the road, more beds, and increasing the use of virtual wards. This clear support and confirmation of funding from the government is welcome."
Alongside this, £40 million is being invested to improve social care capacity, strengthen admissions avoidance services and boost discharge rates – targeting the areas with the greatest urgent and emergency care challenges. The funding forms part of the £600 million social care winter workforce package – with local authorities in the most challenged integrated care systems now invited to submit proposals.