Details of discharge fund published

Details of the £500 million discharge fund that was announced earlier this week have been published.

The fund aims to help free up hospital pressures and reduce strain on the NHS.

The fund was announced by the health secretary at the NHS Providers annual conference.

Key features of the fund include freeing up hospital beds through quicker discharge, to provide faster access to emergency treatment and also reduce ambulance handover times.

£300 million will also be provided to integrated care boards (ICBs) with the intention of improving bed capacity.

£200 million will be given to local authorities to increase the social care workforce, so capacity is increased so more people can leave hospital.

ICBs and local authorities will work together to agree on spending across their regions.

Allocations are set to be published in due course, with payments to follow soon after. The second tranche of funding will be delivered in January.

In his speech at the NHS Providers conference, the health secretary said: "I am pleased to announce details of the fund which will be provided to ICBs and local authorities to free up beds, at a time when bed occupancy is at 94%.

"In line with our devolved and data-driven approach we will be allowing local areas to determine how we can speed up the discharge of patients from hospital.

"This might be through purchasing supportive technology boosting domiciliary care capacity or physiotherapists and occupational therapists to support recovery at home.

"We will also be looking closely at the impact of how funding is used and using this data to inform future decisions around funding."


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