December 6, 2022 5.30 pm This story is over 16 months old

Hope for more money to tackle Lincolnshire discharge “gridlock”

£5m set to help speed up hospital processes and COVID waiting lists

Senior Lincolnshire health chiefs said “there will be more to come” as they apply for £5 million discharge fund to tackle the county’s “gridlocked” health system.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board on Tuesday approved a bid to the government’s £500million fund which is being given to to areas that face the biggest challenges and delays within NHS services.

As part of the bid, Lincolnshire County Council will apply for around £2.8million and the Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board will be getting around £2.1million.

The fund has been designed to speed up hospital processes amid long COVID backlog lists in the healthcare setting, as well as reports of long waiting times in A&E practices and a lack of hospital bed space for patients.

Andrew Morgan, the Chief Executive for United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust quoted the Care Quality Commission’s Annual Report in a statement to the board.

“It says that in 2022, the health and care system is gridlocked and unable to operate effectively and from where I sit, I absolutely endorse that statement,” he said.

“Anything we can do to help the acute flow is warmly welcomed… let’s get on with it and have maximum impact with it and continue to work together to improve the situation.”

John Turner, chairman of the Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board praised teams for turning the bid around in just a few weeks in time for the December 16 deadline.

He pointed out that in 2023/24 the discharge fund would increase to £1billion nationally adding:”So there’ll be more to come in fairly short order.”

The first payments will be made in the coming weeks, and a second batch of funds will be distributed in January 2023.

As part of the bid, councils will have to provide regular reports to the government to show the money is being used effectively.

If the Department of Health and Social Care find that the funds are not being utilised well the second batch could be withheld.

Earlier on Tuesday, health bosses had told United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust board that a scheme aimed at de-congesting overcrowded emergency departments had already “fundamentally” improved patients’ experience.

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