Government allocates extra money to support social care

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock

A total of £2.9bn is being made available to public services to support vulnerable people and free up hospital beds during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Money will be provided to cover the follow-on care costs for adults in social care, or people who need additional support, when they leave hospital for their homes or care settings. 

The funding is from the £5bn pot of money announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak in last week’s Budget.

A breakdown shows local authorities will receive £1.6bn to enable them to respond to other Covid-19 pressures across all services they deliver, including stepping up support for the adult social care workforce and for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.

Another £1.3bn will be used for the NHS discharge process so patients who no longer need urgent treatment can return home.

It is hoped the discharge measures will help free up 15,000 hospital beds across England and ensure more staff have capacity to treat people needing urgent care, including those being cared for with coronavirus.

‘Our NHS and social care colleagues are at the heart of protecting the most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak, and the whole country is tremendously grateful for their commitment during this challenging time,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock.

‘This funding will help the NHS and social care services in our communities to rise to this once in a generation challenge by allowing the NHS to do what it needs to, and help move people out of hospital as soon as possible to get them back home with the right support.’

Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘The work of local authorities to deliver social care and other vital public services has never been more important than it is now – and will be – in the days and weeks ahead.’

The number of deaths in the UK reached 144, with more than 3,200 confirmed cases as at 1pm today (Thursday 19 March).

During his daily briefing, Prime Minster Boris Johnson said the tide could turn ‘within the next 12 weeks’.