NHS trusts demands another £350m in funding

3 Jul 17

The health service needs an extra £350m in order to cope with the pressure of winter, NHS Providers has warned.

Its Winter Warning report draws on a survey of members who say only a fraction of the £1bn tranche of extra funding provided in the March budget to help free up hospital beds is reaching the NHS.

Local authorities are using their share of the money to help fund social care needs rather than tackle bed blocking, the NHS Providers says.

The report states “Our member survey shows that only 28% of trusts have been able to secure a commitment from their local authority that the extra social care funding will be spent in a way that directly reduces delayed transfers of care (DTOCs) and frees up NHS capacity.”

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said: “What is clear from our survey and detailed conversations with frontline trusts is that the government’s plan of trying to gain a double benefit from the Budget’s extra £1bn social care funding is not going to work consistently enough.”

He said an additional £350m should be targeted at regions where social care funding won’t have much impact on the NHS.

Hopson said: “There is no time to lose. One of the key findings in our survey was that trusts need to know about any extra capacity by the end of July so they can plan properly and secure the extra staff cost effectively. “

The survey also found that only 34% of trusts said their local authorities were giving a high priority to supporting the NHS reduce DTOCs as opposed to other social care needs.

Forty four per cent thought the money would have no impact on their ability to manage winter pressures.

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