We welcome the Health and Social Care Secretary’s statement on discharge funding and the pressures on the NHS this winter. We hope the additional funding through the £250m discharge fund, announced today, will help ease some of the pressures currently being faced by the NHS, however, we must recognise the importance of a resourced and sustainable social care sector, which will continue to provide care and support to people in the community following their discharge.
As the Government announces new measures which focus on “delivering for patients”, we must ensure the safety of patients is never compromised in the delivery of care and support, and that those in need are receiving the most appropriate, high-quality services.
We also need to highlight the importance of ensuring equal access to existing support and tackling barriers that exist especially for marginalised communities, and that funding is swiftly reaching the services and communities that need it most.
The inclusion of mental health is most welcomed and so, we need to recognise the VCSE sector as being part of the solution for people, often being best placed to provide the support needed in the community and home.
Going forward, we would welcome earlier discussions and publications of measures to respond to winter pressures and crises and need to consider planning in advance of the winter season allowing the sector to be effectively prepared. As part of this, an increased focus on prevention is essential for all ages and conditions, particularly in the development or worsening of poor mental health to prevent people from reaching crisis.
Preventative measures are key in supporting people effectively, as well as in reducing the impact and pressures on the NHS and other public services.