Secretary of State for Health announces additional winter pressures funding


10 / 9 / 2013 10.33am

Alongside specific plans to support NHS A&E departments in the short-term this winter, the Health Secretary has set out proposals to deal with the increasing pressures on NHS A&E services in the long-term – starting with care for vulnerable older patients with complex health problems.

To help support these proprosals, an additional £250m of winter pressures funding has been made available this winter and has been allocated as follows:

  • around £62 million for additional consultant A&E cover over the weekend
  • around £57 million for better community end of life care and hospices
  • around £51 million for improving urgent care for patients with long-term conditions
  • around £25 million for district nursing, to provide care for patients in their home, preventing them from being admitted to A&E
  • around £16 million for integrating health and social care teams to help discharge elderly patients earlier and prevent readmission and
  • around £9 million to help the ambulance service and hospitals work better together. 

Flu also has a big impact on the NHS, with on average around 750,000 patients going to their GP with ‘flu symptoms and 27,000 people admitted to hospital as a result of the disease each year.

That is why with Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, Mr Hunt also today announced specific measures to minimise the effects of flu, and flu-related A&E visits in the coming winter months:

  • For the first time, any NHS trust eligible for a share of the £250 million A&E funding for next year will need to ensure that at least 75 per cent of its own staff have been vaccinated against ‘flu this year

  • A national flu campaign to protect the most vulnerable from the disease, and avoid flu-related A&E visits and

  • A flu vaccination programme for children between two and three years old, to reduce potential spread of the disease.

As you know, we support the delivery of the national flu fighter campaign for NHS staff and are keen to help you where we can. Our flu fighter campaign resources include advice and guidance on best practice, as well as materials that you can download for free from our website.

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