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An additional €26 million in funding will be released as part of the HSE’s Winter Plan 2019/2020, it has been announced.
The figure is €4 million below the funding package of last year’s Winter Plan, which comprised €30 million.Much of the funding will focus on reducing the delayed transfers of care (DTOC) outturn year to date to a figure of 450 at year end by supporting the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS), Transitional Care and Home Supports.
Funding for the plan has been allocated as follows: The NHSS (€13 million); transitional care ( €4.2 million); home support packages (€2 million); and winter action team (WAT) initiatives ( €6.8 million).
The €6.8 million allocated to WATs will fund locally managed initiatives to support patient care. Examples of these initiatives include improved access to GPs for diagnostics to reduce emergency department (ED) attendances, the purchase of aids and appliances, rapid flu testing, patient transport and frailty intervention teams.
According to the plan, during the 2018-19 season, the introduction of a Winter Oversight Group and nine focus site WATs for an enhanced focus period provided the system with “a strong grip on operations in terms of oversight, management and response”.
“The Winter Oversight Group provided clarity on leadership and governance to assist in delivering sustainable improvement in unscheduled care (USC) performance across the patient flow continuum for the winter period,” according to the document.
“The WATs ensured a structured project management approach and planning across all HGs / CHOs in assisting to drive and sustain improvement in USC for the focus period. Based on the learning from Winter 2018-19, it is proposed to implement this process over the entire winter period for 2019-20.”
In terms of the €6.8 million allocated to winter action team initiatives, each WAT has submitted funding proposals as part of their Integrated Winter Plans to support Unscheduled Care Performance during the Winter Period.
The Winter Plan was launched on Thursday 14 November in the HSE National Communications Unit headquarters in Cornmarket, Dublin.