I am pleased to report that £420 million of Government funding is being used this winter to improve NHS services.
Our A&E frontline staff work tirelessly all year round to save lives. More people need access to emergency care when temperatures drop. The Government recognises the pressure that this puts on our NHS staff, and so is putting further investment into upgrading our A&Es with modern facilities, designed to give NHS staff the tools they need to provide high-quality treatment.
Further Government support this winter included over £36 million for ambulance trusts to pay for more than 250 new ambulances, 100 of which were delivered by Christmas Eve, and the creation of hubs which allow paramedics to get back out more quickly.
Winter can also be a challenging time for elderly people across the country. Those who live alone are sometimes forced to travel to a hospital for minor injuries and illnesses. This is why the Government has made an extra £240 million of funding available to local authorities for adult social care. This will see 30,000 more people cared for in their homes, where they are comfortable, and will see more vital hospital beds freed up across England.
Alongside these important investments in our NHS, I am pleased to welcome this week’s launch of the Government’s Long Term Plan for our NHS. Our 10-year plan strives to get the most out of the additional £20.5 billion being injected into the NHS over the next five years. At the heart of the plan is the principle that prevention is better than cure. It offers an unprecedented increase in funding for community health services.
The plan also provides better access to mental health services with a roll-out of new mental health support teams in schools and colleges, measures to support 35,000 people with severe mental illnesses to find work, and increased support for veterans.
I welcome the steps this Government is taking to support our NHS so it continues to serve all of us – from increasing funding across the country to the building of our brand new £11 million community hospital in the Forest of Dean.