Wrexham.com > News
Aware: Fri 16 Dec 2022
Over 500 additional folding beds and community care packages will be put to use across Wales this winter, helping people receive care closer to home and freeing up hospital beds.
The ‘Step Down’ service will help people return to their communities when they no longer need hospital treatment but require more time, support and specialist care. Home care services are also being boosted to allow more people to return home.
Local health boards and local authorities have confirmed an additional 508 beds and community care packages so far, with many more currently being negotiated.
They are being provided by funds from the Welsh Government’s Regional Integration Fund and local authorities and boards of health own resources.
This week, the Welsh government also announced an additional £70m to ensure social care workers in Wales receive a real living wage. That’s part of broader efforts to recruit and retain social care workers and strengthen the sector to help support the NHS eh as it faces one of its harshest winters.
Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “Our health service is facing unprecedented demand this winter. But we know that some people stay in the hospital longer than necessary.
“This, in turn, has a severe ripple effect for people waiting for operations and creates delays for the ambulance service.
“We have been working hard with the boards of health and local authorities for months to make sure we have enough community beds this winter and work is still underway to secure more beds. I hope to be able to announce more beds soon.
“Through this new initiative, we can not only care for people closer to home, but also free up more beds in our hospitals.
Deputy Social Services Minister Julie Morgan said: “We know everyone wants to return to their community as soon as possible after a hospital stay. But the current shortage of social care labor means that’s not always possible right now.
“A short-term stay at a Step Down center is the next best option, with review and transfer home as soon as possible.
“This week we are also announcing a £70m investment for social workers to receive a real living wage. This is part of our long-term strategy to boost the recruitment and retention of social care staff in Wales and ensure that the care system can meet future demand.
Councilor Andrew Morgan (Rhondda Cynon Taf), leader of the WLGA, said: “We know that the health and social care sector is under great pressure.
“These innovative packages will help build capacity going forward and improve flow in the health and social care system and free up some of the areas under pressure, such as hospital discharges and the impact this can have on patient lists. waiting for ambulances and admission to hospitals
“This increased capacity in the community, which the councils have built by working in partnership with health and with the support of our social care providers, is an example of the practical solutions that occur as a product of cooperation between the health sector. , Welsh and local government. government, which we hope will have tangible benefits and positive impacts for people, particularly during the winter period, when services remain under significant pressure.
People who are referred to ‘step-down’ facilities include those who are medically fit to leave hospital, who no longer meet the criteria for an acute hospital bed but who require care and support services that cannot be provided on their own. homes or requiring a short-term stay. stay as it is deemed unsafe to return home pending a start date for community care packages.
Individuals, their families and caregivers will receive information about their care plans.