Hartlepool to get £500,000 boost help NHS deal with 'winter pressures'

University Hospital of Hartlepool.
University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Hartlepool is set to receive more than £500,000 from the Government to boost social care services as they face 'winter pressures' in the coming months.

Hartlepool Borough Council will receive £501,123 as part of a programme to help local authorities alleviate winter pressures on the NHS, getting patients home quicker and freeing up hospital beds across England.

The extra funding, part of a £240 million fund announced by Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock earlier this month, is aimed at reducing delayed transfers of care and could pay for the following:

* Home care packages to help patients get out of hospital quicker;

* Reablement packages, which support workers to help patients carry out everyday tasks and regain mobility and confidence;

* Home adaptations, including new facilities for personal care, such as adapting a shower room if a patient has limited movement.

Authorities across the North East will receive £13,817,755 in total.

Councils have been allocated the funding based on the adult social care relative needs formula and letters have been sent out today to inform them.

The health and care system has already been working hard to ensure patients return home from hospital once their treatment has finished and delays attributable to adult social care have been reduced by 39% across England since February last year.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “I want to help the NHS through this winter.

“I have already provided funding for hospitals to make upgrades to their buildings to deal with pressures this winter, and I am making an extra £240 million available to councils to pay for social care packages this winter to support our NHS.

“We will use this money to help people who don’t need to be in hospital, but do need care, to get back home, into their communities, so we can then free up those vital hospital beds, and help more people get the hospital care they need.”

This latest injection of funding builds on previous support the Government has already given this year to the NHS ahead of this winter. In September, the NHS received up to £145million for trusts across the county to boost winter resilience, which will go toward upgrading wards, redeveloping A&E departments, and pay for an extra 900 beds.

And a total of £36.3million was awarded to ambulance trusts in June to prepare for this winter, and will go towards buying 256 new state-of-the-art ambulances.

As announced in last year’s budget, an additional £1.6bn has been given to the health service for 2018/19, and this investment will be used by the NHS to treat a quarter of a million more patients in A&E and for improve A&E performance.

Aside from funding, NHS leaders have also announced an ambition for 100% of frontline workers to get the flu jab to protect patients as part of a comprehensive plan for this winter.

For the first time, children in school Year 5 will be offered the flu vaccine, meaning as a result, all children aged between two and nine will be offered the flu vaccine.

Other actions being implemented to boost support over the winter period include:

* Ensuring extended access in primary care is in place across the country, with an additional nine million appointments per year;

* Rolling out NHS 111 Online nationwide;

* Taking action to safely reduce ambulances conveying patients to hospital through increased ‘hear and treat’ and ‘see and treat’;

* Expanding the provision of ‘same day’ emergency care;

* Setting an ambition to reduced long stays in hospital (over 21 days) by 25% to free up 4,000 beds.