£5.3bn Better Care Fund to transform the 'basic model' of the NHS

Health Secretary announces major shake-up of elderly care services

By getting local health and care teams working together to focus on prevention, not just the treatments we need, we can stop families and the NHS from having to pay the price for these unnecessary crises

Health Secretary, Jeremey Hunt, has pledged to transform the ‘basic model’ of the NHS, starting with a £5.3billion investment in elderly care services.

Eighteen thousand care workers are to be deployed across the country, it was announced this week, with the aim of preventing 2,000 elderly people from being moved to care homes and 160,000 admissions to casualty units.

As part of the Government’s Better Care Fund, GPs, community nurses, and care workers will work more closely together so they can provide better care in the community, avoiding costly hospital stays.

The plans will improve people’s experience of health and care services by providing:

  • Seven-day care services so people can access care at the weekends and are not left waiting in hospital
  • A named professional who joins up different services around people’s individual needs
  • Better sharing of information so people only have to tell their story once
  • Joint assessments so services work together from the start and provide a care plan that works for the user

These plans show how local services aim to achieve:

  • 163,000 fewer stays in A&E, resulting in a 3.07% reduction in admissions and savings of £253m
  • £532m savings for health and care services
  • 101,000 fewer unnecessary days spent in hospital by reducing delayed transfers of care
  • 12,000 more older people still at home three months after being discharged from hospital
  • 2,000 more people prevented from being admitted into a care home and supported to live independently

Developed in conjunction with councils and local NHS organisations, the plans are the centrepiece of the Coalition Government’s commitment to joining up the health and care system. They will help to put the service user first and make this vision for joined-up care a reality across the country for the first time.

The time for talk is over – our plans will make the vision a reality for patients and help deliver a sustainable future for the NHS

Hunt said: “For years, successive governments and NHS leaders have talked about joining up our health and care services so that people get better care at the right time and in the right place. The time for talk is over – our plans will make this vision a reality for patients and help deliver a sustainable future for the NHS.

“Too many families experience being passed from pillar to post between the NHS and their council, endlessly repeating their stories along the way. By breaking down barriers within the system, these plans will allow staff to work together to prevent people from becoming ill in the first place, meaning our hospitals can focus on treating the patients who really need to be there.”

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, added: “Too often care is unco-ordinated, leaving many people needlessly going back to A&E again and again. By getting local health and care teams working together to focus on prevention, not just the treatments we need, we can stop families and the NHS from having to pay the price for these unnecessary crises.

“Fourteen pioneering areas have already delivered improvements for patients and these plans show just how driven local areas are to make this the reality everywhere. The prize is enormous - better care for people and better value for money for our health and care services.”

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