The Welsh Government has announced that a further £12.5million has been given to NHS Wales to help recover from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The money will support people to live independently following a hospital stay, as well as helping pharmacies to support people to stay well without visiting a GP.

£10million of the £12.5million will be distributed across the 22 local authorities to purchase equipment which will help people who have care and support needs to live independently in their own home.

Upon the list of equipment for the local authorities to purchase includes flow mattresses, patient turning systems, stair lifts and hoists, as well as telecare equipment or fund small or medium home adaption.

The ultimate aim from the first £10million is to free up space of hospital beds by allowing people to be discharged quicker and avoid unnecessary hospital stays.

By increasing the amount of equipment available and getting it installed before care needs escalate further, it is hoped that it will relieve pressures on the social care system and pharmacists still feeling the effects of the pandemic. 

The remaining £2.5million will support pharmacies, as well as patients, by improving access to treatment and advice for a range of common ailments.

The increased access is hoped to reduce pressures on GPs and other NHS services by encouraging patients to speak to a participating community pharmacist.

Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan 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-19 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.”