ATTEMPTS to tackle winter pressures across Dorset’s hospitals are set to be boosted by an additional £3million for social care services.

However, the political head of social care at Borough of Poole admitted the finance is just a “drop in the ocean” when it comes to the problems they are facing.

The funding, which has been provided by the Department for Health and Social Care, is part of a programme to help local authorities support the NHS and get patients home quicker.

Bournemouth council will receive £883,914, Borough of Poole will be given £637,547 and Dorset County Council is due a £1,935,188 windfall.

Cllr Karen Rampton, Borough of Poole adult social care portfolio holder, said: “It is just a drop in the ocean.

“I think the whole funding of adult social care has to be looked at in the long term. There needs to be radical reform to address the situation.

“The biggest issue for us is the work force. We need a recruitment drive.

“The funding is welcome, but it isn’t enough given the demand we have.”

Councils have been allocated the funding boost based on the adult social care relative needs formula.

Across England a £240million fund, which was announced by State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, aims to reduce delayed transfers of care out of hospitals.

The latest finance can be used by the councils to help pay for:

  • Home care packages to help patients get out of hospital quicker
  • Reablement packages, which support workers to help patients with everyday tasks and regain mobility and confidence
  • Home adaptations, including new facilities for personal care., such as adapting a shower room if a patient has limited movement

As reported by the Daily Echo, hospital chiefs admitted the way Christmas falls this year was a “major risk”, with Christmas Eve on a Monday causing a ‘five day weekend’ effect.

Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s winter plan, which took months to compile, includes doing fewer elective operations between January and March, and no knee and hip replacements for an eight-week period.

Richard Renaut, chief operating officer at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Extra funding is needed to catch up with growing demand for services, and to address the underlying deficit across health and social.

“It is important we continue to focus on improving quality and reducing waste.

“At RBCH we are benchmarked as the most productive hospital in England, but know there is still lots more to do to ensure we keep improving. Key to this is delivering the Clinical Services Review, which will allow the NHS to provide better care and save more lives, with the existing staff we have. All this gives a great basis to improve health and social care across Dorset and use any new funding wisely.”

Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said: “I want to help the NHS through this winter.

“I have already provided funding for hospitals to make upgrades to their buildings to deal with pressures this winter, and I am making an extra £240 million available to councils to pay for social care packages this winter to support our NHS.

“We will use this money to help people who don’t need to be in hospital, but do need care, to get back home, into their communities, so we can then free up those vital hospital beds, and help more people get the hospital care they need.”