Integrated care boards (ICBs) will receive £595,000 each for the establishment of at least one women’s health hub in their footprint, the government has confirmed.
And 75% of this funding will be available for immediate use in 2023-24, with the rest transferred of the next financial year.
The £25m funding – first announced in March – should be used to cover establishing and running costs for the hubs, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has said.
This should include project management, workforce development and staff training or backfill.
Women’s health hubs were touted as a key pillar of the government’s women’s health strategy, published last summer.
The DHSC advised that ICBs are able to use this funding to either set up a new hub or expand an existing one, geographically or in terms of services offered.
It said: ‘We encourage you to make full use of your funding allocation to accelerate progress, noting that ICBs will not be expected to incur costs implementing a model that is not recurrently affordable.’
It added that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the hubs would not work and that services must meet an ICB’s population’s needs.
Despite funding is being transferred to ICBs, hubs should be developed through integrated care partnerships (ICPs), including the NHS, public health and the voluntary and community sector, the DHSC said.
It added its ‘expectation is that it is used collaboratively to best meet population needs and must not be restricted by commissioning boundaries’.