£2.9bn funding is being made available to support the most vulnerable in society during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The funding also aims to free up more than 15,000 beds by helping patients no longer in need of treatment to return home safely and quickly.
The funding is allocated from the £5bn COVID-19 fund announced by the Chancellor in last week’s Budget.
£1.6bn of additional funding will go to local authorities to enable them to respond to other COVID-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including stepping up support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.
£1.3bn will be used to enhance the NHS discharge process so patients who no longer need urgent treatment can return home safely and quickly.
The funding will cover the follow-on care costs for adults in social care, or people in need of additional support, when they are out of hospital and back in their homes, community settings, or care settings.
The enhanced discharge measures will help free up 15,000 hospital beds across England and ensure more staff have capacity to treat people needing urgent care, including those being cared for with coronavirus.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, said, 'Our NHS and social care colleagues are at the heart of protecting the most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak, and the whole country is tremendously grateful for their commitment during this challenging time.
'This funding will help the NHS and social care services in our communities to rise to this once in a generation challenge by allowing the NHS to do what it needs to, and help move people out of hospital as soon as possible to get them back home with the right support.
'We are clear that we will do whatever it takes to protect lives and protect our NHS.'
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said, 'I’ve been clear that the NHS and other vital public services will receive whatever they need to protect people from coronavirus.
'Our £5bn Budget response fund is now being used to free up more beds in hospitals and ensure some of our most vulnerable people are getting the care they need. The Government will continue to lay out comprehensive and coordinated responses to get this country through this situation.'
Local Government Secretary, Robert Jenrick, said, 'The work of local authorities to deliver social care and other vital public services has never been more important than it is now – and will be – in the days and weeks ahead.
'That’s why we’re giving local councils £1.6bn of additional funding to spend where it’s needed most, to ensure they can meet the cost of the increased demand for social care, and continue to protect the most vulnerable people in society.'
This funding is part of Government commitment to ensure the NHS and social care system, and other public services, have all the resources they need during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Government will continue to monitor pressures in the NHS and Local Government and will keep future funding under review.
The latest Government guidance explaining how health and care systems and providers should change their discharging arrangements and the provision of community support during the coronavirus situation is available here.