DoH pledges £70m to support people leaving hospital

The DoH is to spend £70m to help patients return to their homes after a period of illness of injury.

Mr Lansley said the scheme would bring down the number of emergency readmissions

The packages of support for those leaving hospital will include daily visits for up to six weeks or changes to patients' homes. The scheme aims to reduce long-term health and social care costs by preventing patients being readmitted to hospital.

The DoH said the additional money would be allocated to PCTs this year using 'savings from central Department of Health budgets.' 

The NHS, councils and voluntary organisations will be expected to help implement the plans.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the scheme would benefit an estimated 35,000 people.

'[Patients often] leave an environment in which they have been cared for around the clock to go home, sometimes alone, with no help. Too often they end up back in hospital because they haven't had help readjusting to life at home. In fact we've seen a 50% increase in the number of emergency readmissions in the 10 years from 1998. We need to do more to prevent this from happening.

'From next April, the NHS will have new responsibilities for people's care needs for 30 days after they leave hospital.'

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