CSP members are being urged to apply for the £500m discharge fund in England after new details on the money were announced.
In a speech to the NHS Providers conference, health secretary Steve Barclay said that the money, first announced in September, would be provided initially to integrated care boards (ICBs) and local authorities in early December, and then in a second tranche at the end of January.
For the first time he suggested funding should be used to increase staffing to support rehab recovery at home, referencing the need for additional physiotherapists and occupational therapists in community teams.
The £500m, called the Adult Social Care Discharge Fund, was first announced in the Plan for Patients published by Mr Barclay’s predecessor, Therese Coffey.
Sara Hazzard, CSP assistant director for strategic communications, welcomed further detail on the money and the suggestion that a priority for its use is to expand the rehab workforce, with particular the reference to physiotherapy.
‘Unnecessary lengths of stay in hospital beds are a disaster for patients. and causes problems across the system. But speeding up discharge on its own will not resolve the issue. What is required is for rehabilitation and recovery services in the community to be consistently available and for a workforce plan to deliver this. Otherwise, we are simply creating a revolving door’’ she said.
‘It is essential that plans address this head on, with the physio workforce a key component of this.
'This is money that we know our members' services desperately need so it is essential that local leaders look into how to access the fund to help more patients get home in a timely manner.'
The CSP co-convenes the Community Rehabilitation Alliance of more than 50 professional bodies and patient organisations and has been calling for greater urgency and funding to resolve the problem of millions missing out on essential rehabilitation.
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