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Extra funding for NHS services

An extra £162m will be made available for frontline services, the health secretary has revealed.

Andrew Lansley announced that savings made in consultancy, advertising, IT and administration would be re-used by the Department of Health to help patients leave hospital more quickly, prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and receive support at home.

Primary care trusts and local authorities will decide how best to use the funding to relieve some of the pressures placed on hospitals over the tough winter period.

Mr Lansley explained that elderly people will benefit from new measures because they often need some help to settle back into their homes, regain independence and recover their strength after a spell in hospital.

Mr Lansley went on: "This additional investment for health and care services is the result of determination to deliver savings, maintain quality and invest in services that matter to patients and their families and carers during the critical winter season."

The announcement brings forward plans for health and local authorities to work together using NHS funding to support social care, which was first outlined in the government spending review.

The Department of Health said the extra £162m of funding was in addition to the previously announced £70m that the NHS will spend this year on "reablement" services.

The efficiency savings had been made by applying controls over central spending on consultancy, IT, administration and advertising common across all of government, the department said.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

Department of Health

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I work as a treatment room nurse, we have just been told on the 31 March the PCT will stop funding the treatment rooms. It is evident the GPs do not wish to take it over in its present form, which means our contracts do not need be tuped across to them. The PCT are required to find us other jobs (if there are any) or make us redundant. If we are offered jobs to work in the newly formed treatment rooms, it will probably
be for shorter hours; less staff with new contracts with less favourable terms and conditions. I have been told by a union rep that this is happening all over the NHS in order to cut costs. My post was already demoted by the agenda for change. we now have a pay freeze for 2 years and increase in pension contributions which I was willing to do. Now as a frontline nurse I will probably not even be able to maintain my hours of
work or pay scale or even a job, never mind a 2 year wage freeze. My husband and I had no holiday last year, not a problem although much missed. This year with his lack of regular work and a cut in wages by one third, we will not be able to even pay all our bills. How on earth are people going to manage especially those who have dependents. I also worry
terribly for the patients for whom we currently provide a very good service, with experienced nurses who have a wide range of skills" - Chris, England

"Where is this money coming from? Is it 'new' money or just something else promised but repackaged to 'look good'? How much, if any, will filter down to local PCTs and patients? Locally people who need tonsillectomy, operations for ganglions, carpal tunnel, etc. are being told NHS cannot pay for these and to go private!!! Where is our NHS free at time of need? Healthcare is a basic right, not a privilege, and should be freely available to everyone. It is a measure of how good a country, govt. is, as to what healthcare they provide to its people and in the health and wellbeing of the under 5s" - Penny Wright, Essex

"These plans for improvement in the NHS appear to be positive but the efficiency savings that the government say are being being utilized to fund this is rather short of the truth, ie, IT, administration and advertising. Many health and social care service authorities are having to draw up plans to both save millions of their present budgets and doing so by funding voluntary redundancies of frontline staff and reducing spending by downsizing staff grades so that more nurses on the front line will be paid on lower pay bandings. Nurses will be hit hard by the recession and there will be less of them to provide the improved care purported by the government.  Social Services are also being subjected to similar cuts to staff and therefore it is difficult to envisage the outcome of the concept of 'reablement'. There is little evidence to that these types of services are effective in the longer term and could be more costly than standard home care to the detriment of those people who are excluded from what could be seen as exclusive to those only being discharged from hospital. The economic crisis is hitting the NHS hard and this can be seen by the dearth of nursing jobs advertised locally or nationally. This gives a taste of the present economic climate within public services and its effect on frontline staff" - Marion Findlay, Scotland