Coffey unveils £500m adult social care grant to free up hospital beds

Health and social care secretary reintroduces funding for hospital discharge - stopped in April - to tackle NHS blockages while also bolstering social care workforce

Blocks spelling out the word 'funding'
Photo: chrupka/Adobe Stock

The government has unveiled a £500m adult social care grant to free up hospital beds and bolster the care workforce this winter.

The funding, announced today by health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey, is designed to tackle the issue of people fit for discharge not being able to leave hospital for want of social care, preventing new admissions and causing backlogs in ambulance handovers to accident and emergency departments.

Therese Coffey

Health and social care secretary Therese Coffey (credit: HM Government)

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said there were currently 13,000 people in hospital who should be receiving care in the community.

The DHSC had provided dedicated funding for hospital discharge from March 2020 to March 2022 to help keep free up beds during Covid. That fund provided for people to receive four to six weeks’ free social care on leaving hospital to remove barriers to discharge.

There is no prescribed level of care that people should receive on discharge under the new adult social care discharge fund, with the DHSC saying it should be used flexibly and also desployed to tackle recruitment and retention problems in the care workforce.

These have mounted over the past year, with vacancies in adult social care rising by 52% in 2021-22, and are seen as a key reason for the lack of availability of social care for people who can leave hospital.

The DHSC said it would also provide £15m to support care providers to recruit staff from overseas, which it said would help with visa processing, accommodation and pastoral support for new recruits.

It also plans to launch a domestic adult social care recruitment campaign shortly, to encourage more people into the sector.

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10 Responses to Coffey unveils £500m adult social care grant to free up hospital beds

  1. Chris September 22, 2022 at 5:03 pm #

    Does the money come with an influx of carers to provide this care?

  2. Claire Henderson September 22, 2022 at 6:39 pm #

    This really annoys me, does the government not realise that the care industry is struggling to get staff for these packages of care. Its people that are needed. Instead of waiting for days it can be weeks. Care homes are refusing to take complex cases as they have staffing issues. I am fed up that social care is blamed for bed blocking and nhs waiting times. Come and see for yourself Mrs Coffey what adult social care is faced with each day. We are overwhelmed with a nation who are getting older, more complex health conditions, advanced dementias that are not supported by nhs funding and above all retention of Social workers and social care workers who are stressed.

    • Dakota September 23, 2022 at 6:30 am #

      I totally agree with your comments. Coffey does not seem to understand the complexities of discharge from hospital processes. I can see another dealine coming for discharges. Like the D2A this has pushed social workers to the point of wanting to leave the career behind. It is unsustainable. How sad. I went into social work because I care about people, now I feel I am just processing paperwork. I don’t know how much longer I can continue as I feel so stressed from the job now

  3. Jazz September 22, 2022 at 7:41 pm #

    under the current regime how can social care domestics earn a living wage?

  4. Karla September 23, 2022 at 10:00 pm #

    Health will fund dc up to a period of 4 to 6 weeks then ASC will be left with the back log of assessments along with the tab!!!

    ASC will then be responsible for the funding of placements and the huge TPTUs thereafter. In their forever drowning budgets.

    Individuals returning home with a poc after the short stay will be problematic, due to care agencies being full to capacity and unable to pick up the care packages. Due to the agencies low pay and poor staff retention.

    So the plan in returning home will be further delayed. Putting the person at a significant risk of being further deskilled, causing a lack in their confidence and then, the individuals can often end up in the care homes long term.

    It’s so sad really although true. They’re is not enough resources/ staffing in the industry to meet the forever high demands.

    Its OK for the government to say, funding will be given to prevent bed blocking and to help free up beds.
    But it doesnt solve the problem!!!

    It just moves it onto the next stage,

    The whole system is broken. Freeing up beds is not going to to work unless the whole process from start to finish is factored into the changes needed in health and ASC.

    Freeing beds only, is not realistic at all!!!

    We are in desparate need of step down beds/ Extra Care facilities etc… across the country to make a positive difference to people’s lives.

    It’s frustrating and sad!!

  5. Chris Sterry September 24, 2022 at 8:08 pm #

    Health and social care secretary Thérèse Coffey has unveiled a £500m adult social care grant to free up hospital beds and bolster the care workforce


    As is usual the Health and Social care secretary Therese Coffey, mp doesn’t hav e a clue for the crisis in Social Care goes far deeper than hospital beds and £500 million is way too little for all of the following have to be sorted

    payrates, for these are so abysmal and urgently greatly improved 
    working conditions, including recognised holiday pay, sick pay, appropiate travel expenses, recognised career progression
    bank holidays to be recognised, like additional enhanced pay rates for working Bank Holidays, together with a day in lieu
    much more investment for non-UK workers
    and much more

    Then more persons could be encouraged to enter the social care profession.

    But to offer a measly £500 million is the biggest joke ever.

    Unfortunately social care has been, deliberately ignore by this and all previous Governments. The care of our most vulnerable and this includes children as well as adults, so it is not just care homes, but also home care, supported living, respite, hospices. etc.

  6. Margaret Dennis September 30, 2022 at 2:47 pm #

    This is good news.

  7. Martin Heuter October 5, 2022 at 9:19 am #

    Like a few other comments here, money isn’t the only issue, it is a system problem which cannot be fixed with short term cash injections, however big they may be. Another big issue is that the general population is not aware of how social care works, the fact that it is (mostly) privatised and that clapping for key workers during Covid doesn’t address the big system issues. We were promised for some time a complete overhaul of the health and social care system but that it still not in sight. That is what is needed and an honest conversation between politicians, leaders in health and social care and the general population about what the options are.

  8. Anonymous October 19, 2022 at 11:27 pm #

    I think more residential care homes, and more nursing homes need to built, here in Britain. The last thing patients want is to be stuck in hospital when they’re actually well enough to leave. The lack of available care home bedrooms is quite appalling, and I’d like to be reassured that I would get a bedroom if I ever need to live in residential care ever again. It’s quite shocking. And I know there is care in the community, but not everyone can cope with everyday life, so care homes are still very much needed.


  1. Average care worker earns less than over 80% of wider workforce - Rvpg media - October 11, 2022

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