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21st January 2016

Funding announced to tackle patients' 'delayed transfers' from hospitals to home or care

The Welsh Government has announced £2.5m of funding which will support measures to reduce the number of people – the majority of them older people – who are unable to leave hospital for social care reasons, freeing up hospital beds for patients who need them. The investment is part of the £20m Intermediate Care Fund.

The most recent statistics show 435 people experienced a 'delayed transfer of care' in December 2015. Although this is the third consecutive month there has been a reduction in the number of delays, more than half (53%) of those people were delayed because of community care assessments not taking place quickly enough, delays in older people selecting a care home or when a person was waiting for a care home place to become available.

The Welsh Govenrment says the £2.5m of funding will allow health boards, local authorities, housing and the third and independent sector to work together to ensure people delayed in hospital receive an appropriate package of care and support, allowing them to leave hospital – either to return home with the right package of support or to go to a care home of their choice. It will offer regions greater flexibility to support other people and groups to maintain their independence at home and in the community.

Health boards, as part of regional collaboratives, will receive a share of the £2.5m to work with their partners:

North Wales - £598,000
Mid and West Wales - £470,000
Western Bay - £433,000
Cwm Taf - £243,000
Cardiff and Vale - £308,000
Gwent - £450,000
Details of the successful projects will be announced in due course.

Health Minister, Professor Drakeford, said: "In Wales, we have invested in both our health and social care services, because people, especially the frail and the elderly, rely on both to meet their care and support needs. This investment has led to a steady decline in the number of delayed transfers of care over the last 10 years – bucking the trend seen elsewhere in the UK."

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