In the week that Jeremy Hunt was promoted to Health and Social Care Secretary the BBC reports on a new initiative between a hospital and local care homes designed to join up the care offered to vulnerable patients and bridge the divide between the NHS and social care sector.
Northampton General Hospital is to spend around £1m on care home places, says the BBC, so that it can double the number of patients with complex needs who leave the hospital each day in a bid to ease the severe pressure on beds at the height of winter.
Under the new arrangement Northamptonshire County Council and the hospital will share the cost of care home places for patients facing delays in being discharged, including those waiting to be assessed by the council for social care needs.
Dr Sonia Swart, Chief Executive Officer of the hospital, is reported as saying that patients will still be able to exercise their right to choose a placement or care package of their choice while in their temporary care home.
It is hoped between 25 and 40 patients a week could leave hospital through this scheme, which is due to run for six weeks.