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Conservative conference: Emergency £240m to free up hospital beds

Conservative conference: Emergency £240m to free up hospital beds

Health secretary Matt Hancock reveals £240m will be used to pay for care in the community and free up hospital beds for people who need them the most.

The cash injection will be given to English social care to ‘ease pressure’ on the NHS this winter by enabling more elderly people to be cared for at home. The aim is to prevent older people from going into hospital unnecessarily and getting people home quickly when they are ready to leave.

 Hancock told the Tory conference that the purpose of the money is to help councils pay for measures such as housing adaptations and care packages.

 Mr Hancock said: “I can announce that today I am making an extra £240m available to pay for social care packages this winter to support our NHS.

 “We will use this money to get people who don’t need to be in hospital, but do need care, back home, back into their communities, so we can free up those vital hospital beds”.

 The government says its measures will include plans to reduce long stays in hospital, expand same day emergency care and improve access to primary with an additional nine million GP appointments per year.

 The Department of health stated that it is also taking action to reduce the number of ambulances transferring patients to hospitals, through increased ‘hear and treat’ and ‘see and treat’ services.

 In reaction to Mr Hancock’s speech, shadow social care minister Barbara Keeley said, ‘tinkering at the edges’ was not going to solve ‘a severe crisis in social care caused by eight years of Tory austerity’.

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