Government finds extra £12m to help councils ease hospital pressures

Money from Department for Communities and Local Government tops up £25m from Department of Health to tackle delayed discharges this winter

The government has found an additional £12m in extra money to help councils tackle delayed discharges from hospital this winter, on top of £25m released last week.

The money, from the Department for Communities and Local Government, will go to the 87 local authorities who did not benefit from the £25m, which was provided by the Department of Health to the 65 areas hardest hit by delayed transfers of care.

The DCLG money, which like its DH counterpart will last until the end of March, will be provided as ring-fenced grants, weighted towards areas with higher demand for home care packages to support people requiring discharge from hospital.

The government estimates that the £37m will help an additional 9,500 people move out of hospital back home, with a care package, or into residential care.

The NHS itself has received £700m from the Department of Health to tackle pressures this winter, which have been particularly acute and resulted in significant increases in delayed discharges.The total number of days in which a person was delayed in hospital in December 2014 was 139,156, a 24% on the figure for December 2013, according to figures from NHS England. Two-thirds of the delays were the responsibility of the NHS – for example, a person needed intermediate care that wasn’t available – 26% were the responsibility of social care and 7% the responsibility of both agencies.

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