walker elderly man webThe Welsh Government has announced that will be provide a further £12.5 million in funding to help the NHS recover from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, helping to alleviate waiting times and reduce winter pressures.

The funding is intended to support people to live independently following a hospital stay and help pharmacies support more people to stay well without needing to see a GP.

£10 million will be distributed across the 22 local authorities in Wales to purchase equipment to help people with care and support needs to live independently in their own homes.

Councils will be able to purchase equipment such as flow mattresses, patient turning systems, stairlifts, hoists and telecare equipment, or fund small or medium home adaption.

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Increasing the amount of equipment available and getting it installed before care needs escalate further can freeing up much-needed hospital beds by allowing people to be discharged quicker and avoid unnecessary hospital stays.

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services
Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services

In addition, £2.5 million will better support pharmacists and patients by improving access to treatment and advice for a range of common ailments.

Increased access to pharmacies will reduce pressures on GPs and other NHS services by encouraging patients to speak to a participating community pharmacist rather than their GP for advice and free NHS treatment for a range of common ailments.

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “The pressures on the health and social care system remains extremely challenging. We all need to work together to support our health and social care services and help us to help you this winter.

“Simple things like visiting local pharmacies or minor injuries units for advice on minor health concerns, checking symptoms online using the NHS 111 Wales website or getting a COVID vaccine can make a high difference to our NHS and help people look after their health this winter.

“The funding announced today will help tackle the hospital and work force pressures within community services and social care by avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions and supporting people who currently cannot be discharged from hospitals due to insufficient care capacity return home.”

Last year the Welsh Government published a plan to help the health and care system in Wales to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, pledging an initial £100m to support the first steps of its recovery.

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