The government says it will provide a £588 million fund to cover adult social care or the immediate costs of care in their own home for patients who require it when discharged from NHS care.

From next month the NHS will be able to access the funding in order to provide up to six weeks of additional support so people can receive ongoing help with their recovery and rehabilitation after they leave hospital. This could include support in their home or access to services such as physiotherapy.

NHS Continuing Healthcare (NHS CHC) assessments will also restart from September ensuring those with complex health needs can continue to access the care they need for free.

Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said the majority of care should be provided in the patient’s home.

“We know for the majority of people the road to recovery can be quicker when they receive care and support in the comfort of their own home. This funding will help ensure people can be safely discharged from hospital knowing they will get the vital follow-on care they need to recover fully from treatment.

“We’re also making sure those with complex health needs continue to receive the best support possible in the community.”

A DHSC spokesperson said it “is anticipated that a very small proportion will need, and benefit from, short or long-term residential, nursing home or hospice care”.

The spokesperson added that all patients would be test for coronavirus and that “no care home should be forced to admit an existing or new resident who has tested positive for coronavirus if the home would be unable to cope with the impact of their illness”.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England gave the announcement a cautious welcome. 

“Care England welcomes this guidance, although tardy, and the £588 million funding being made available until the end of March 2021.  CHC assessments were deferred as a result of COVID-19 and with winter around the corner this guidance comes at a critical time.

“We hope that individuals, providers and families will be kept informed thereby ensuring that both funding and the provision of care is not interrupted for those living in care homes, an essential part of the continuum of care,” he said.

Date published: August 27, 2020

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