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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Reading

New NHS funding to speed up hospital discharge

The NHS will buy thousands of extra beds in care homes and other settings to help discharge more patients to free up hospital beds. Our national director Louise Ansari responds.

Thousands of extra medically fit patients will be discharged from hospitals into community care settings, such as care homes, over the coming weeks to free up hospital beds and reduce pressure on the NHS.

Welcoming the extra funding, Louise Ansari, our national director said: “We welcome the news that the government has allocated extra money to fund swift discharge of stranded hospital patients into care homes to address the current winter crisis. The announcement comes a week after we called for urgent injection of unrestricted funds into hospital discharge schemes and shows the government has heeded calls from patient organisations, health professionals as well as NHS and social care leaders. This funding will help address current pressures facing the NHS, contributing to freeing up hospital beds while ensuring people who leave hospital are safe. It’s now critical the government find long term solutions to improving hospital discharge and that there’s resource in place to support the community discharge model. It is also important that experiences of patients and services users’ are gathered to shape the six national ‘Discharge Frontrunners’, which are also being announced today, to explore new long-term initiatives to free up hospital beds.”

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