Winter warning: managing risk in health and care this winter

Winter Warning highlights the worries of many NHS trusts that extra funding for social care, partly allocated to ease winter pressure on the health service, is not consistently getting through to the NHS.

The report sets out in detail how the NHS responded earlier this year to what many consider to be the toughest winter on record. Despite extraordinary efforts from staff, the health and care systems struggled to cope under sustained pressure.

A key factor was the sharp rise in delayed transfers of care (DTOCs), for patients who were ready to be discharged, often because of difficulties in lining up suitable social care.

The government’s response in the spring budget was to use the £1 billion of extra social care funding for the current financial year to try to reduce social care-related NHS DTOCs, and so ease pressure on trusts.

The clear message in Winter Warning is that, in many places, this is not happening.

 

Survey key findings

 

What more do NHS providers need to manage risk safely

In looking at all these short and long-term solutions, we must adopt a whole system approach. Too often winter pressures has just been about acute hospital capacity. Last winter showed that ambulance, community and mental health capacity are just as important, as is primary and social care capacity.

 

Read the report online

 

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