The Welsh Government has announced that the £10m a year Integrated Care Fund will be boosted to £105m over three years to help deliver more joined-up care closer to home and help build homes to support people to live independently in their own communities.
The Integrated Care Fund, set up to support the integration of health, social care and housing, will receive a £75m boost over three years in a bid to create more large-scale housing which integrates social care as well as other innovative approaches to the integration of health and social care. This capital funding is in addition to the £50m revenue element of the Integrated Care Fund announced in April 2018.
The Fund will support the aims of A Healthier Wales: our Plan for Health and Social Care, which recognises the significant role appropriate housing can play in moving health and social services closer to communities.
The Fund will help improve long-term planning and increase the focus on how homes can make a difference to health.
Appropriate housing can support people to maintain their independence and can provide the right environment for people leaving hospital – reducing delays in discharging patients. It can also support older people, people with dementia or learning disabilities, or complex needs, and enable social services to provide them with more effective care. All of this can help the NHS and social services operate more effectively.
The announcement was made by Housing and Regeneration Minister, Rebecca Evans and Minister for Children, Older People and Social Care, Huw Irranca-Davies during a visit to an Extra Care housing and care scheme being built in Maesteg.
Rebecca Evans said, 'This significant funding boost is aimed at helping those who need it to receive the right support, whether they are older people with complex needs and long-term conditions, people with learning disabilities, children with complex health needs, or carers.
'We recognise how important housing can be to health. Housing can make a real difference in the lives of people – helping older people stay independent and out of care homes or hospital, for example.
'A three year programme will allow health boards, councils, housing associations and other bodies to plan carefully and manage larger projects to meet the needs of people locally. I am looking forward to seeing many more projects like this one come to fruition.'
Huw Irranca-Davies said, 'This significant increase in funding will help to deliver more projects that help people to live the lives they want to lead, while meeting their healthcare, or social care needs.
'Crucially, it will also help ensure that people can be discharged to appropriate support when they no longer need a hospital bed, freeing up NHS resources.
'Not all the funding will be about delivering housing-based projects, but we will continue to focus on providing seamless services, care closer to home, and helping people to live independent lives.'