CCGs will receive an extra £150m from NHS England to help hospitals cope with winter pressures in A&E departments.
The money will be in addition to the £500m the Government committed to ‘at-risk’ A&Es in August, which will cover this winter and the following year. It will be up to individual CCGs will decide on how to spend their allocations after consultations within urgent care working groups, the partnerships between hospitals, community and primary care clinicians, an NHS England statement said.
Some CCGs are likely to spend the money on A&E departments themselves, while others could introduce ideas for cutting the numbers of unnecessary visits to A&E, the statement added.
It suggested that some regions could appoint specialists with responsibilities for minimising unnecessary admissions of older people living in care homes, while walk-in centres and pharmacists could extend their opening hours, it said.
NHS England deputy chief executive Dame Barbara Hakin said: ‘This year we started preparing for winter earlier and we are monitoring the situation with great care to see what more might need to be done.’