Shropshire Star

More than £1 million to tackle Shropshire's emergency care challenges

More than £1m is being given to Shropshire in health funding to try to improve urgent and emergency care.

The pressure on urgent and emergency care can lead to long waits for ambulance crews at county hospitals

The Government has announced £40m of funding across the country, with £653,945  for Shropshire, and £363,277 for Telford & Wrekin.

The money is going to local authorities which have "the greatest challenges with urgent and emergency care," according to government.

The money is specifically intended to help speed up hospital discharges, boost social care provision, and prevent avoidable hospital admissions.

All three of the issues have had major impacts on the performance of the county's emergency hospitals in Shrewsbury and Telford, leading to a lack of beds, and long waits at A&E.

The issue in turn impacts on the ambulance service and other sections of health care.

As the effect of winter continues to worsen, the situation is expected to have more impact on patients and health services.

The Government said the money is in addition to £200 million announced in September 2023 to boost resilience in the NHS.

It can be used to buy more services aimed at keeping people out of hospital, as well as more packages of home care, which allow people to leave hospital faster and build back their independence.

Minister of state for care, Helen Whately, said: "We know winter will be challenging, which is why we started preparing earlier than ever before so people get the care they need. We’re supporting local councils with targeted funding to use where it’s needed most.

"With a focus on speeding up hospital discharge and increasing social care provision, this money will help the NHS care for people through the winter."

Home care packages can include enabling a carer to come to an individual’s home a couple of times a day and help them with tasks including getting dressed.

The funding can also be used to increase the amount of specialist dementia support available in the community, services which also help to keep people out of hospital.

Other local authority proposals included plans for services such as patient transport provision to take people home from hospital, the provision of technology to monitor people at home, and additional capacity to undertake more assessments of an individual’s care needs.

The Government said the fund would also allow local authorities to boost social care provision, strengthen admissions avoidance services and speed up discharge rates this winter.

It said that compared to this time last October, there has been a nine per cent fall in the number of patients staying in hospital after they are ready to be discharged, freeing up space on wards and helping flow through the system.

The regional allocations were being will be paid today.

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