£300m for Scots NHS, social care winter package

Humza Yousaf

The Scottish Government has announced what it called a “record winter funding package” to help increase NHS and social care capacity in Scotland this winter.

A new investment of over £300 million in hospital and community care has been unveiled to help tackle what is anticipated to be the toughest winter the NHS and social care system has ever faced.

“The new multi-year funding will support a range of measures to maximise capacity in our hospitals and primary care, reduce delayed discharges, improve pay for social care staff, and ensure those in the community who need support receive effective and responsive care,” said the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Government said the NHS and Care Winter Package of additional funding includes:

  • Recruiting 1,000 additional NHS staff to support multi-disciplinary working
  • £40 million for “step-down” care to enable hospital patients to temporarily enter care homes, or receive additional care at home support, with no financial liability to the individual or their family towards the cost of the care home
  • Over £60 million to maximise the capacity of care at home services
  • Up to £48 million will be made available to increase the hourly rate of social care staff to match new NHS band 2 staff

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “As the winter period approaches, it is vital that we do all we can to maximise the capacity of the NHS and social care system.

“That’s why I’m setting out our £300 million NHS and Care Winter Package today.

“We cannot look at the NHS in isolation we must take a whole systems approach and these measures will help alleviate pressure across the NHS and social care.

“This significant new investment will help get people the care they need as quickly as possible this winter.

“Bolstering the caring workforce by increasing their numbers, providing them with additional support, and increasing the wages of social care staff.

“We’ve previously provided funding to ensure that adult social care staff are paid at least the real living wage.

“Today we’re going further and our new investment will ensure that adult social care staff who are currently paid the real living wage will get a pay rise of over 5%

“Measures I have announced today will help patients whose discharge has been delayed waiting for care and help get them out of hospital and on to the next stage in their care.

“This helps the individual by getting them the right care, and helps the wider system by ensuring the hospital capacity is being used by those who need that specialist level of clinical care.

“This £300 million of new funding will also fund increases in social care capacity in the community and in primary care – helping to ease the pressure on unpaid carers.

“Our NHS, social care staff and social work staff have been remarkable throughout the pandemic and today’s additional investment will help support them to deliver care to people across Scotland this winter.”