In order to help increase capacity among NHS and social care services in Scotland this winter, a record winter funding package of over £300m has been unveiled by the devolved administration.
Due to ongoing challenges, it is anticipated to be one of the toughest winter periods faced by the NHS and social care system.
The new funding will support a range of measures to maximise capacity in hospitals and primary care settings, reduce delayed discharges, improve pay for social care staff, and ensure those in the community who need support receive effective and responsive care.
On top of this, the NHS and Care Winter Package of additional funding includes:
- Recruiting 1,000 additional NHS staff to support multi-disciplinary working
- £40m for ‘step-down’ care to enable hospital patients to temporarily enter care homes, or receive additional care at home support, with no financial liability to the individual or their family towards the cost of the care home
- Over £60m to maximise the capacity of care at home services
- Up to £48m will be made available to increase the hourly rate of social care staff to match new NHS band 2 staff
- £20m to enhance Multi-Disciplinary Teams, enable more social work assessments to be carried out and support joint working between health and social care
- £28m of additional funding to support primary care
- £4.5m available to Health Boards to attract at least 200 registered nurses from out with Scotland by March 2022
- £4m to help staff with their practical and emotional needs, including pastoral care and other measures to aid rest and recuperation
Announcing the funding, Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: ““As the winter period approaches, it is vital that we do all we can to maximise the capacity of the NHS and social care system. That’s why I’m setting out our £300m NHS and Care Winter Package today. We cannot look at the NHS in isolation we must take a whole systems approach and these measures will help alleviate pressure across the NHS and social care.
“This significant new investment will help get people the care they need as quickly as possible this winter. Bolstering the caring workforce by increasing their numbers, providing them with additional support, and increasing the wages of social care staff.
“We’ve previously provided funding to ensure that adult social care staff are paid at least the real living wage.
“Today we’re going further, and our new investment will ensure that adult social care staff who are currently paid the real living wage will get a pay rise of over 5%
“Measures I have announced today will help patients whose discharge has been delayed waiting for care and help get them out of hospital and on to the next stage in their care. This helps the individual by getting them the right care and helps the wider system by ensuring the hospital capacity is being used by those who need that specialist level of clinical care.
“This £300m of new funding will also fund increases in social care capacity in the community and in primary care - helping to ease the pressure on unpaid carers.
“Our NHS, social care staff and social work staff have been remarkable throughout the pandemic and today’s additional investment will help support them to deliver care to people across Scotland this winter.”