The NHS is today publishing details of how the extra £700million that has been injected nationally is being used in every part of the country to open extra beds, employ more frontline clinicians, and support community and local council services over the winter period.
This is more winter funding than last year, and it has been allocated earlier in the year – with the first tranche allocated in June last year. Most of these new services are therefore now up and running, with further beds and staff due to be in place in January and February.
Robust and detailed joint planning between hospitals, GPs, CCGs, community services and local councils has taken place across the country. All relevant agencies have come together in local ‘System Resilience Groups’ to decide locally how best to use their extra funding.
At a regional and national level, Monitor which oversees NHS Foundation Trusts, the NHS Trust Development Authority which oversees the performance of NHS trusts, and NHS England have been working jointly.
Details of the cash allocations to each part of the country are attached, along with examples of the initiatives the local NHS and councils report they are funding with the extra money. Nationally, extra funding is also going into ambulance services faced with additional call volumes, and to increase access to urgent primary care services.
Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, said:
“This winter our local health services are responding to far-and-away the highest ever number of ambulance calls, A&E attendances and emergency admissions in the NHS’ history. At a time of year when most families across the country were enjoying a well-earned holiday, frontline NHS nurses, paramedics, doctors and other staff have been going the extra mile – we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
“That’s why the NHS, the Department of Health and local clinicians have done everything that could reasonably be expected to plan carefully and expand services over the winter. But for the future it’s clear we also need a fundamental redesign of the NHS urgent care ‘front door’ – A&E, GPs, 999, 111, Out of Hours, community and social care services – as part of the broader programme of care transformation set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View.”
New schemes using the winter money include:
- 7 day pharmacy services in Sunderland, and in Northumberland over £400,000 is being spent on increasing nurses on the frontline.
- In Northern Derbyshire over £600,000 is being spent on making improvements to NHS111 and GP out-of-hours services.
- In South Warwickshire, the System Resilience Group has invested £600,000 in a “discharge to assess” programme, which has been successful in moving frail elderly patients straight into nursing homes paid for by the NHS for up to 6 weeks, to allow assessments to take place outside the hospital.
- In Bristol over £60,000 is being spent on extending the opening hours of the local Urgent Care Centre and in Swindon £177,000 has been allocated to a Short Stay Unit for elderly patients.
- In Dorset, £238,000 has been invested in a scheme to allow patients to recover at home after surgery or an admission.
- A recruitment drive to bolster hospitals with extra A&E doctors, flu vaccination programmes for NHS staff and vulnerable members of the public and national and local information campaigns so people know the best services to access if they are unwell.
You can view a breakdown of some of the schemes here.