Support for patients with vulnerabilities with eased pressure on hospitals
Ministers say that patients with vulnerabilities in England will get better support in the community as part of plans to ease pressure on hospitals.
Teams of social workers and NHS staff will soon become available seven days a week under new care plans, reports the BBC.
Ministers are predicting that pressures will ease on hospitals from April once the Better Care Fund comes into place. The fund has been created to close the divide between health and care systems which sees elderly people affected.
Ministers believe the plans will help prevent more than 160,000 hospital admissions, 2,000 care home admissions and result in more than 100,000 fewer days of unnecessary hospital care caused by delays in discharging patients.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “For years, successive governments and NHS leaders have talked about joining up our health and care services so people get better care at the right time and in the right place. The time for talk is over – our plans will make this vision a reality for patients and help deliver a sustainable future for the NHS. Too many families experience being passed from pillar to post between the NHS and their council endlessly repeating stories along the way.”
But Local Government Association chairman David Sparks said the changes would fail unless the social care system was better funded – research by the group has suggested local authorities are being under-funded by a third.
He said without more money the whole system would “collapse”.
“While we recognise these reforms have the ability to change health and social care for the better, the government must fund councils properly to ensure this happens.”
Shadow care minister Liz Kendall said the scale of the plans were “depressingly unambitious”.
“The government should have focused on integrating frontline services from day one, but instead they forced through a backroom reorganisation,” she added.
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