Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Opposition, has welcomed the recent announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock MP, that over £1 million in extra money will be provided to Oldham this winter to help patients get home quicker from hospital after medical treatment and improve care that might prevent them being admitted to hospital in the first place. Mr Hancock recently announced that Oldham will be receiving £1,122,354 in extra winter funding.
Commenting Councillor Sykes said: “Any extra funding from government to help support adult social care at the time of year when there is the greatest demand must be welcomed. I am sure patients would much rather have more support to be discharged so they can recover in the comfort of their own homes than spending any more time in hospital than is necessary. This investment will also help save the NHS money as this so-called ‘bed blocking’ represents a big drain on spending that could be better spent on treating more patients.”
Councillor Sykes did however add a cautionary note: “I have to say though that the Minister does only get ‘one cheer’ from me rather than the ‘three cheers’ he would if this money had been allocated or notice given as part of the budget settlement last autumn. That would have given both the Council and the Hospital the maximum amount of time to plan how best to use this money. Late notice and the element of stop/start is not the best way of getting maximum value; making this cash go as far as possible; and helping as many people as possible.”