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Health secretary sets up £500m fund to discharge medically fit NHS patients

Ministers are setting up a £500m emergency fund to get thousands of medically fit patients out of hospital as soon as possible in an attempt to prevent the NHS becoming overwhelmed this winter.

Thérèse Coffey, the new health secretary, unveiled the move in the Commons on Thursday as part of her plans to tackle the growing crisis in the health service, especially patients’ long delays for care.

The newly created adult social care discharge fund is intended to relieve the pressure on overstretched hospitals in England by ensuring that patients whom doctors have judged well enough to leave can be safely discharged either to their home or into a care home.

In her first speech since becoming the health secretary 16 days ago, Coffey told MPs: “I can announce today that we are launching a £500m adult social care discharge fund for this winter.

“The local NHS will be working with councils with targeted plans on specific care packages to support people being either in their own home or in the wider community. This £500m acts as the downpayment in the rebalancing of funding across health and social care as we develop our longer-term plan.”

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Source: The Guardian, 22 September 2022


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