Patients who no longer need urgent hospital treatment will be helped to return home, making at least 30,000 beds available during the coronavirus outbreak, after councils received £1.6 billion in extra funding.
The LGA has been working with the Government on the need for extra resources for adult social care services to cope with the crisis. The funding, allocated from the £5 billion previously set aside for coronavirus in the Budget, will help free up essential NHS hospital beds by ensuring that people who are fit to leave hospital get back home, or to a community-based service, as quickly and safely as possible.
Councils will also be able to use this funding for other services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.
Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “This extra funding will be crucial to support the tireless efforts of council social care staff to continue to support and protect people who rely on them.
“Councils are leading local efforts in their communities to tackle the coronavirus outbreak. Their absolute priority is continuity of care and protecting the most vulnerable from this virus. This funding boost will help councils do everything they can to ensure people vulnerable to the virus are able to access vital supplies.”
Another £1.3 billion will be available to speed up the NHS discharge process, and will cover follow-on care costs for adults in social care, or people who need additional support, when they are out of hospital and back in their homes or community. The LGA said that, to maximise the impact of this funding, councils will need to target it towards the pressures in their particular local area, including support to the care provider market.