Hospital patients in Barnsley could get back home quicker this winter as the authorities spend £1.2m provided by the Government to help take pressure off the NHS in what is known to be the busiest time of year.
In the Autumn, the Government announced £240m would be spent nationally to help alleviate winter pressures on the NHS, through getting patients back home more quickly to free up hospital beds for other patients.
Just over £1.2m of that has been awarded to Barnsley, which will get a similar sum next year, though the money is expected to dry up beyond that point.
Barnsley Council has been working with health service bodies to come up with a package of measures designed to make sure patients do not spend longer in hospital than they need to, by providing the level of adult social care services which will help ensure patients get home as quickly as possible, while maintaining their wellbeing.
From the cash, £374,000 will be spent on improving social work assessments, to ensure hospital discharge cases get priority. Another £33,000 will be used to provide additional weekend management cover within the hospital, putting a senior manager on call.
The bulk of the cash, £637,000, will go on more social care packages, with a report to Barnsley Council’s ruling Cabinet explaining: “It is proposed to secure and make provision for extra home care and residential care packages in anticipation of increased demand during the winter period.”
This year’s money must be spent in the winter period, before the end of March, and it is anticipated any which remains unspent will be carried over for use next winter.