Prime minister David Cameron announced today that the sum, found from DH savings, would be used to ensure under-pressure A&E departments were fully prepared for winter.
The DH said the new funding would go to A&E departments identified as being under the most pressure and be targeted at ‘pinch points’ in local services.
New initiatives could include minimising A&E attendances and hospital admissions from care homes by appointing hospital specialists in charge of joining up services for the elderly; seven-day social work; increased hours at walk-in centres; increased intermediate care; and extension to pharmacy services to ease pressure on A&Es.
£15m will be spent on NHS 111 to increase capacity and prepare the service for potential winter pressures.
However it is unclear what role CCGs will play in deciding how the funding is spent. No detail has been released about the areas qualifying for the funding.
Dame Barbara Hakin, chief operating officer and deputy chief executive of NHS England, said: ‘We will continue to work with our colleagues at Monitor, the NHS Trust Development Authority and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to ensure money is targeted at areas where we believe it can best be used to improve services for patients and provide equity of access.’
£1/2b would fund > 3000 extra GPs & >3000 extra nurses in primary care - surely a better investment in improving care for patients— Clare Gerada (@clarercgp) August 8, 2013
So Gov can find £1/2bn to deal with AE attendances but nothing to support general practice which is in crisis due to demand for care— Clare Gerada (@clarercgp) August 8, 2013
Visiting A&E myself today to see hardworking staff in action. Determined to find long-term soln that includes GP, OOH &social care services.— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) August 8, 2013