Funds provided for follow-on care costs after hospital discharge

Jane Townson, Homecare Association chief executive

Older people and those with disabilities needing additional follow-on care after being discharged from hospital will be supported by a £588m fund.

From September, the NHS will be able to access the funding to provide up to six weeks of additional support so people can receive ongoing help with their recovery and rehabilitation after they leave hospital, either in an adult social care setting or in a person’s own home.

Most people will be discharged back to their homes, however it is anticipated that a small proportion will need short or long term residential, nursing home or hospice care.

Guidance has been published to help hospitals safely discharge patients into the appropriate setting and ensure they can remain in their own homes as much as possible.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘We know for the majority of people the road to recovery can be quicker when they receive care and support in the comfort of their own home.

‘This funding will help ensure people can be safely discharged from hospital knowing they will get the vital follow-on care they need to recover fully from treatment.

‘We’re also making sure those with complex health needs continue to receive the best support possible in the community.’

The funding is part of the £3bn provided to prepare health and social care in the event of a second peak of Covid-19 during winter and follows £1.3bn made available via the NHS to support the discharge process in March.

Last week, members of the Health for Care coalition, which is chaired by the NHS Confederation, said they were ‘gravely concerned about the ability of social care services to cope’ due to a potential second wave of Covid-19, localised outbreaks, and the challenges of winter ahead.

Jane Townson, UKHCA chief executive, said: ‘We welcome news of funding to support people’s recovery at home after discharge from hospital, as well as the emphasis on meeting people’s care needs in the community where possible.

‘We are keen to work with the NHS and local authorities to ensure that the focus is on improving outcomes for people, rather than on time and task. We are also determined to ensure that homecare and support is purchased by commissioners in a way that allows fair recognition and reward of the workforce, as well as quality and sustainability of services.’