The government is providing funds to enable the NHS to fully fund the cost of new or extended out-of-hospital health and social care support packages for people who are being discharged from hospital or who would otherwise be admitted to hospital. This is to enable quick and safe discharge of medically fit patient from hospital and, more generally, reduce pressure on acute services. These arrangements took effect from 19 March 2020, and will continue until the government determines that the arrangements will cease.
Patients will still receive high quality care from acute and community hospitals, but will not be able to stay in a hospital bed if this is no longer necessary.
For the majority of patients leaving hospital this will mean that, where it is needed, the assessment and organising of ongoing care will take place when they are in their own home.
For patients whose needs are too great to return to their own home, a suitable rehabilitation bed or care home will be arranged. During the COVID-19 pandemic, patients will not be able to wait in hospital until their first choice of care home has a vacancy. This may mean a short spell in an alternative care home and the care coordinators will follow up to ensure patients are able to move as soon as possible to their long term care home. Any care provided will be free of charge during the Level 4 COVID-19 crisis for a period of time to support your recovery. After this time you may be required to contribute to the cost of your social care.
There will be a suspension of usual patient funding eligibility criteria while this process is in place. Assessments for NHS Continuing Health Care will not be required until the end of the COVID-19 emergency period. This applies for people being discharged from hospital or who would otherwise be admitted to hospital, for a limited time, to enable quick and safe discharge of medically fit patients from hospital and more generally reduce pressure on acute services.
Local Authorities will take the lead contracting responsibilities for expanding the capacity in domiciliary care, care homes and reablement services in the local area paid for from the NHS COVID-19 budget.
Clinical Commissioning Groups will coordinate local financial flows for NHS COVID-19 spend, including monitoring all local spend, coordinating local funding arrangements and working in partnership with local government to support them in their lead contracting role in the local system.
Under Section 75 of the NHS Act 2006, CCGs and local authorities can enter into partnership agreements that allow for local government to perform health related functions where this will likely lead to an improvement in the way these functions are discharged.
North Tyneside Council and NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group propose to use these Section 75 powers to create a Pooled Fund to facilitate the operation of these arrangements. Having this agreement will ensure that the CCG and Council have effective systems in place to commission packages of care, monitor arrangements made for individual people and ensure that we can properly account for the funding being spent on the out of hospital health and social care support.
NHS North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning group and North Tyneside Local Authority are required to consult on the proposal to create a Pooled Fund.
If you have any comments on the use of a Pooled Fund to enable these arrangements, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 May 2020.