Ben Everitt, the MP for Milton Keynes North, has welcomed the news up to £3.2 million of Government funding will support the Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB to free up hospital beds and reduce pressure on the NHS.
The Government is making the funding available to immediately buy short-term care placements to allow people to be discharged safely from hospitals into the community where they will receive the care they need to recover before returning to their homes.
The move will free up hospital beds so people can be admitted more quickly from A&E to wards, reducing pressure on emergency departments and speeding up ambulance handovers. There are currently around 13,000 people occupying hospital beds in England who are fit to be discharged.
The additional £200 million - on top of the £500 million Adult Social Care Discharge Fund already announced which reached the frontline in December and is already helping discharge people more quickly - will fund maximum stays of up to 4 weeks per patient until the end of March. Integrated care boards - organisations that arrange health services in each local area - will begin booking beds that are most appropriate to patients’ needs.
Ben Everitt MP said: "The pandemic has had a huge impact on healthcare across the country so this latest funding from the Conservative Government is extremely welcome to help us free up more hospital beds and reduce the pressure on the NHS."
Steve Barclay, the Health Secretary, commented: “There’s no question it has been an extraordinarily difficult time for everyone in health and care. It is clear we need to do more right now in light of the level of Covid and flu rates and given hospital occupancy remains far too high and emergency departments too congested.
“Today’s announcement provides a further £250 million of funding which recognises that the spike in flu on top of Covid admissions, on top of high delayed discharge numbers from the pandemic, will provide immediate support to reduce hospital bed occupancy and decompress A&E pressure and in turn, unlocking much-needed ambulance handovers.
“This builds on the £500 million funding for discharge specifically at the Autumn Statement, which is ramping up, and the additional funding for next year.”