£10m for Welsh councils to purchase assistive equipment to speed up hospital discharges
To help the NHS recover from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, alleviate waiting times and reduce winter pressures, a further £12.5 million has been announced by Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan.
The funding will help relieve pressures on the social care system and pharmacists still feeling the effects of the pandemic. It is intended to support people to live independently following a hospital stay and help pharmacies support more people to stay well without needing to see a GP.
£10 million will be distributed across the 22 local authorities in Wales to purchase equipment to help people with care and support needs to live independently in their own homes. Councils will be able to purchase equipment such as flow mattresses, patient turning systems, stairlifts, hoists and telecare equipment, or fund small or medium home adaption.
Increasing the amount of equipment available and getting it installed before care needs escalate further can freeing up much-needed hospital beds by allowing people to be discharged quicker and avoid unnecessary hospital stays.
In addition, £2.5 million will better support pharmacists and patients by improving access to treatment and advice for a range of common ailments. Increased access to pharmacies will reduce pressures on GPs and other NHS services by encouraging patients to speak to a participating community pharmacist rather than their GP for advice and free NHS treatment for a range of common ailments.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said: “The pressures on the health and social care system remains extremely challenging. We all need to work together to support our health and social care services and help us to help you this winter.
“Simple things like visiting local pharmacies or minor injuries units for advice on minor health concerns, checking symptoms online using the NHS 111 Wales website or getting a COVID vaccine can make a high difference to our NHS and help people look after their health this winter.
“The funding announced today will help tackle the hospital and work force pressures within community services and social care by avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and supporting people who currently cannot be discharged from hospitals due to insufficient care capacity return home.”
Recently, the Welsh Government announced £18 million funding to support children and young people with additional learning needs (ALN). Part of this funding will enable children and young people with ALN in educational settings to get intensive learning support and speech and language therapy.