A one-off fund for promoting health and social care integration in Wales has been extended to provide ongoing resources to support independence for older people.
The Intermediate Care Fund (ICF) was launched by the Welsh Government as a one-year-only investment of £50m in December 2013, but will now provide an annual budget of £20m.
The £20m revenue funding will be used to support older people to live independently in their own homes and local communities, in order to reduce the pressures on hospitals.
Mark Drakeford, minister for health and social services, said: “The investments we’ve already made over the last 12 months have enabled health, housing and social services, along with the third and independent sectors, to work together on some very innovative projects.
“This is helping to make a real difference to the lives of older people across Wales, and I’m pleased we are able to continue investing in these vital projects.”
The ICF, which included £35m revenue and £15m capital funding, has supported a series of integration projects in the six Welsh regions – Cardiff and the Vale, Cwm Taf, Mid and West, North Wales, Western Bay and Gwent.
Similar to the Better Care Fund in England, the money is being used to reduce unnecessary hospital and residential care admissions and prevent delayed discharges.
In 2015-16, the Welsh Government will invest a further £17.5m in the projects that have proven to be the most successful in helping older and vulnerable people remain at home. The remaining £2.5m will be used to identify those areas of good practice within the regional partnerships and ensure they are implemented across Wales.
The regional allocations are:
North Wales – £4.78m
Mid and West Wales – £3.76m
Western Bay – £3.46m
Cwm Taf – £1.94m
Gwent – £3.6m
Cardiff and Vale – £2.46m