£20m to ease NHS Wales winter pressures announced

Nurse and patient Image copyright Getty Images

A £20m package to help the NHS through the busy winter period has been announced.

Health boards will receive £16m to provide care closer to home, ensure sufficient hospital capacity and help people go home when they are ready.

The remaining £4m will extend GP access into evenings and weekends and help elderly people who do not need to be in hospital to stay in their homes.

It has been announced earlier than usual to help health services prepare.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething said last winter was "one of the most difficult the NHS has faced" after blizzards and a large number of flu cases put the NHS under "unprecedented pressure".

In January Mr Gething apologised to patients whose routine operations had been cancelled. and announced an extra £10m on top of what had already been allocated for winter pressures.

The Welsh Government withheld more than £13m from three health boards in May for failing to meet targets on cutting patient waiting lists.

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