Medacs Healthcare

AUG 08/2013

PM's A&E fund boosts social care services

The government has unveiled a £500 million fund to help hospitals and social care workers ease the pressure on emergency services.

Prime minister David Cameron is looking to prevent overcrowding in accident and emergency departments during the winter months by employing more temporary care workers.

This will ensure that older people do not spend long amounts of time in hospital when they could be receiving care in their own homes.

The extra funding boost will be spread out over the next two years and will help hospitals to better respond to increases in patients, which frequently occurs during the winter months.

Many social care workers will be offered night shifts to meet demand, with locum positions likely to increase.

David Cameron told BBC Breakfast that these changes would deal with pressures in GP surgeries, hospitals and in the wider community.

He said: "The money helps in the short term, but in the long term, what we've got to do is get our hospitals working better with GP surgeries and also get our hospitals working better with our social care departments so that the frail elderly, who are often the ones going in and out of A&E are better cared for in the community."

Mr Cameron said that compared to three years ago there are now one million more people visiting accident and emergency departments, meaning there is a continued demand for healthcare staff in hospitals in order to reduce waiting times and ensure excellent care is delivered.

Through these new measures selected councils will be funded to provide seven-day social care. This will ensure home care workers are available at the weekends in order to help send elderly people home from hospital and ensure that they are still being monitored.

NHS walk-in-centres may also open later and pharmacy services could be extended should they receive a portion of the funding.

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