Major change announced to rescue NHS as whopping 7m Brits languish on hospital waiting lists | The Sun

Major change announced to rescue NHS as whopping 7m Brits languish on hospital waiting lists | The Sun

THOUSANDS of hospital bed blockers will be moved into community care under a major new plan to tackle NHS waiting lists.

This afternoon Steve Barclay confirmed trusts will be given £200m to buy up beds in care homes, hospices, private hospitals and hotels, enabling more patients to be discharged quicker.


It comes as a whopping 7 million Brits are currently on NHS waiting lists.

And the government estimates around 13,000 patients are using hospital beds they don't need.

Speaking in the Commons, The Health Secretary revealed new funding will enable 2,500 patients to be discharged earlier, freeing up space for Brits who desperately need it.

He also announced £50m to upgrade and expand hospitals, including new ambulance hubs and facilities for patients about to be discharged.

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Mr Barclay said: "I and the government regret the experience for some patients and staff in emergency care has not been acceptable in recent weeks.

"There's no question it has been an extraordinarily difficult time for everyone in health and care."

He added: "We will block book beds in residential homes to enable around 2,500 people to be released from hospitals where they are medically fit to be discharged.

"When combined with the ramping up of the £500 million discharge funding… capacity on wards will be freed up, which in turn enables those patients admitted by emergency departments to move to wards, which in turn unblocks ambulance delays."

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The Health Secretary said he's also drawn up an emergency recovery plan for the NHS.

The scheme targets three areas: the immediate crisis in healthcare, preparing for next winter and longer term prevention of bad health to safeguard the service.

This morning Rishi Sunak insisted it’s not too late to save the NHS as it faces one of its worst crises in decades.

Speaking from a community health centre in Leeds, the PM vowed he’s been doing his best for “months” to improve healthcare.

It comes amid criticism from Labour that ministers are taking a “sticking plaster” approach to fixing NHS issues.

Mr Sunak said: “Months ago the Government announced £0.5 billion in extra funding to speed up the discharge of people into their communities or back home, where that makes sense.

"Today's announcement is for even more funding to help support those initiatives."

Blasting Mr Barclay for enabling the NHS to reach breaking point, Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: "The NHS is in crisis. The biggest crisis in its history.

"What has been announced today is yet another sticking plaster when the NHS needs fundamental reform.

"The front door to the NHS is blocked, the exit door is blocked and there simply aren't enough staff."

Alongside mega waiting lists, Mr Barclay is also in battle with nursing and ambulance unions.

Both sets of workers are due to strike this year in a long running pay dispute.

Today government insiders confirmed No10 is considering a one off payment for nurses to stop the strikes.

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He refused to rule out the scheme when pressed on his hospital visit in Yorkshire today. 

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