New care plans to link hospitals and social care

The Department of Health has announced increased funds to enable more community-based care for older people. Linking health and social care for older people, the £5.3bn Better Care Fund will create opportunities for different types of care to be commissioned for patients at home and in the community.

NHS England estimates that, based on local plans, the Fund will be supporting at least 18,000 individuals in roles providing care out in the community. This will be a range of social workers, occupational therapists, care navigators, doctors and nurses, deployed based on local needs and delivering care outside of hospital.

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

  • 7 day care services so people get 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 3 months after being discharged from hospital
  • 2,000 more people prevented from being admitted into a care home and supported to live independently