Mr Lansley said the money, which has been freed up by the NHS efficiency drive, would help to reduce the length of hospital stays as well as prevent re-admissions to hospital.
The money will be allocated to PCTs, for them to transfer to councils to spend on social care support. The DoH suggested the money could be used to provide more home care support or for rehabilitation services, but added that decisions should be made locally.
Mr Lansley said: ‘It’s really important, particularly at this time of year, that we help people to leave hospital as quickly as they can, when they are ready. This money will enable the NHS and social care to work better together for the benefit of patients.
'This additional investment for health and care services is the result of determination to deliver savings, maintain quality and invest in services that matter to patients and their families and carers during the critical winter season.’