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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New £20m a year fund to prevent 'bed blocking' in Wales

Written by The Editorial Team

A new, £20m-a-year Welsh Government fund will support people in their own homes and local communities, reducing pressure on hospitals, Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

The Welsh Government will invest a further £17.5m in the Intermediate Care Fund this year to continue projects which have proven to be successful in helping older and vulnerable people remain in their own homes. The fund will support schemes which improve out-of-hospital care and helping people to return home from hospital.

The hope is this will reduce pressure on unscheduled care services and hospital admissions and add vital new resources to care in the community.

The remaining £2.5m in the Intermediate Care Fund will be used to identify those areas of good practice within the regional partnerships and ensure they are spread across Wales.

The new funding builds on the £35m which was invested in 2014-15 in schemes to enhance integrated working by health and social care services and will continue the focus on improved outcomes for older people and help address the pressures on unscheduled care.

The regional allocations are:

  •     North Wales - £4.78m
  •     Mid and West Wales - £3.76m
  •     Western Bay - £3.46m
  •     Cwm Taf - £1.94m
  •     Gwent - £3.6m
  •     Cardiff and Vale - £2.46m.

The new £20m funding is recurrent and is revenue only.

Professor Drakeford said: “The £20m we are investing in community-based services will help keep people out of hospital and in their own homes. This will help ease pressures on hospital-based services.

“The investments we’ve already made over the last 12 months have enabled health, housing and social services, along with the third and independent sectors, to work together on some very innovative projects across Wales.

“This is helping to make a real difference to the lives of older people across Wales, and I’m pleased we are able to continue investing in these vital projects.”

The £20m for the Intermediate Care Fund is part of the additional £70m investment the Welsh Government is making in the Welsh NHS in 2015-16 to develop local health services, integrating health and social care.