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Health and Social Care Approach to Winter

Volume 704: debated on Friday 3 December 2021

Today the Government publishes the health and social care approach to winter.

This joint publication between DHSC and NHS England and Improvement sets out the expected challenges of this winter, and the wide range of preparations we have made to ensure that health and social care services remain resilient, joined up and available to patients over the coming months.

The document also announces the allocation of £700 million targeted investment fund announced in September this year. At least £330 million will be invested in NHS estate, and £250 million on digital initiatives that aid elective recovery efficiency and reconfiguration, with a further £120 million to support associated or additional revenue costs.

Funding has now been allocated to regions on a weighted population basis, with investment of:

£112 million in north-east and Yorkshire

£97 million in the north-west

£131 million in the midlands

£78 million in the east of England

£105 million in the south-east

£69 million in the south-west, and

£109 million in London.

The importance of these preparations has been brought home to everyone over the last few days with the emergence of the B.1.1.529 “omicron” covid-19 variant. With the roll-out and acceleration of covid-19 boosters alongside the largest flu vaccine programme in UK history, we are doing more than ever to support people to stay well this winter. We will continue to work closely together across health and social care to ensure people continue to access the services they need, when they need them.