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New discharge fund risks being ‘political theatre’, warn NHS leaders

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The government has ‘a week to 10 days’ to distribute the £200m it is committing to speed up hospital discharge if the initiative is to have a meaningful impact on reducing the 13,000 patients who are medically fit to leave hospital, national healthcare leaders have told HSJ.

Health and social care secretary Steve Barclay announced this morning that the government was effectively reintroducing the national discharge scheme used to fund “short-term care placements” earlier in the covid pandemic, which was scrapped in April last year.

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said: “We await the full details of the proposed hospital discharge fund with interest. Given the ongoing delay in distributing the delayed discharge fund announced last autumn any funds will need to be rapidly deployed.”

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Source: HSJ, 9 January 2023

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