By Laura Passi
The Government has announced £162m gained from efficiency savings in the NHS will be used to fund additional support for patients discharged from hospital.
The Department of Health says the additional money will be given to social and local healthcare groups to give extra support in the home and expand rehabilitation services.
The DH hopes the scheme will reduce hospital readmissions and free up the estimated 2,600 beds that are unavailable due to delayed discharge.
The additional investment will also fund short-term residential care places and help fund more equipment for adapting patient’s homes when they return from hospital, says the DH.
Care services minster, Paul Burstow said: ‘This money will help cut the delays in getting the equipment and adaptations that people can need to enable them to live independently at home – saving them from an unnecessary stay in hospital or going into residential care.’
Age UK charity director, Michelle Mitchell, said: ‘With three quarters of NHS patients aged 65 or over, it is more important than ever that older patients receive the necessary care and support they need to help increase their rate of recovery and minimise the rate of readmission which has increased 69 per cent since 1998/1999 to 2006/2007.’
Funding will help to free hospital beds