An extra £240m is being ploughed into the NHS this winter to help free up hospital beds by getting patients home quicker.
The winter strategy could mean that nearly 27,000 home adaptations will be funded, which will include new facilities for personal care, such as adapting shower rooms for patients with limited mobility.
The extra funding, announced by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, is aimed at reducing delayed transfers of care and will be allocated to councils based on the adult social care relative needs formula.
Aside from home adaptations, it is understood the money may also be used to fund more than 71,500 home care packages to help patients get out of hospital quicker.
As announced in last year’s budget, an additional £1.6bn has been given to the service for 2018 to 2019.
This investment will be used by the NHS to treat a quarter of a million more patients in A&E and to improve A&E performance.
Other actions being taken to boost support over the winter include setting an ambition to reduced long stays in hospital (over 21 days) by 25% to free up 4,000 beds.
Mr Hancock said: “I want to help the NHS through this winter. I have already provided funding for hospitals to make upgrades to their buildings to deal with pressures this winter, and I can announce that today I am making an extra £240 million available to councils 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, and help people who really need it, get the hospital care they need.”
Image: Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock