Welsh Government allocates extra £20m to health and social care integration schemes

Funding boost will be used to drive forward projects currently operating under the Intermediate Care Fund that have proven effective in reducing unnecessary hospital admissions

An additional £20m will be allocated to health and social care integration projects currently operating under the Intermediate Care Fund, the Welsh Government announced today.

The budget for the one-year fund was set at £50m for 2014-15 and it is being used to invest in services to keep older people in their own homes.

Extra funds have been made available after the UK Government allocated a further £70m of revenue funding for the NHS to the Welsh Government in the 2014 autumn statement.

The £70m will be invested in the Welsh NHS from April 2015 and £20m will be used to take forward a number of projects currently funded by the Intermediate Care Fund that have proven to be effective in keeping people out of hospital.

A further £30m will be invested in primary care services and £10m will be used to support the redesign of ten key service areas including cancer, cardiac, diabetes and mental health.

The remaining £10m will be used to create an ‘efficiency through technology’ fund, which will speed up the implementation of new ways of working in the NHS.

Mark Drakeford, minister for health and social care services in Wales, said: “The 70m additional funding for the  Welsh NHS in 2015-16 will go to develop specific projects that will have a real impact on high demand services and on reforming our health service.

“Moving care closer to people’s homes is a priority for me and investing £20m in community-based services will help to keep people out of hospital and in their own homes.”

The £70m is in addition to the extra £295m being invested in health and social care in Wales in 2015-16, bringing the overall budget to £6.7bn – the highest it has ever been. This will account for 43% of the total Welsh Government budget.

Intermediate Care FundThe Intermediate Care Fund was announced by the Welsh Government in December 2013 to drive forward integration between health, social care, housing and the voluntary sector.

Similar to the Better Care Fund in England, the money is being used to reduce unnecessary hospital and residential care admissions, as well as prevent delayed discharges.

The six Welsh regions – Cardiff and the Vale, Cwm Taf, Mid and West, North Wales, and Western Bay and Gwent – submitted proposals for a series of integration projects to be taken forward in 2014.

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