Over £300 million new winter investment for health and care

Record winter funding package to help increase NHS and social care capacity this winter.

A substantial new investment of over £300 million in hospital and community care has been unveiled to help tackle what is anticipated to be the toughest winter the NHS and social care system has ever faced.

The new multi-year funding will support a range of measures to maximise capacity in our hospitals and primary care, reduce delayed discharges, improve pay for social care staff, and ensure those in the community who need support receive effective and responsive care.

The NHS and Care Winter Package of additional funding includes:

  • Recruiting 1,000 additional NHS staff to support multi-disciplinary working
  • £40 million for ‘step-down’ care to enable hospital patients to temporarily enter care homes, or receive additional care at home support, with no financial liability to the individual or their family towards the cost of the care home
  • Over £60 million to maximise the capacity of care at home services
  • Up to £48 million will be made available to increase the hourly rate of social care staff to match new NHS band 2 staff
  • £20 million to enhance Multi-Disciplinary Teams, enable more social work assessments to be carried out and support joint working between health and social care
  • £28 million of additional funding to support primary care
  • £4.5 million available to Health Boards to attract at least 200 registered nurses from outwith Scotland by March 2022
  • £4 million to help staff with their practical and emotional needs, including pastoral care and other measures to aid rest and recuperation

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“As the winter period approaches, it is vital that we do all we can to maximise the capacity of the NHS and social care system. That’s why I’m setting out our £300 million NHS and Care Winter Package today. We cannot look at the NHS in isolation we must take a whole systems approach and these measures will help alleviate pressure across the NHS and social care.

“This significant new investment will help get people the care they need as quickly as possible this winter. Bolstering the caring workforce by increasing their numbers, providing them with additional support, and increasing the wages of social care staff.

“We’ve previously provided funding to ensure that adult social care staff are paid at least the real living wage. Today we’re going further and our new investment will ensure that adult social care staff who are currently paid the real living wage will get a pay rise of over 5%

“Measures I have announced today will help patients whose discharge has been delayed waiting for care and help get them out of hospital and on to the next stage in their care. This helps the individual by getting them the right care, and helps the wider system by ensuring the hospital capacity is being used by those who need that specialist level of clinical care.

“This £300 million of new funding will also fund increases in social care capacity in the community and in primary care - helping to ease the pressure on unpaid carers.

“Our NHS, social care staff and social work staff have been remarkable throughout the pandemic and today’s additional investment will help support them to deliver care to people across Scotland this winter.”


Background note:            

 Providing interim care ‘step-down’ beds:

  • Local teams will work with patients and their families to explore options, maintaining choice and control
  • Individuals will be asked for consent to be discharged to a care home on an interim basis for a period of up to six weeks through an expedited process. This is expected to be in their immediate locality or other suitable location
  • An interim place will be offered when social care is unable to provide an appropriate care at home package immediately, or if someone’s first choice care home is temporarily unavailable

Enhancing care at home services:

  • To help address the pressure on social care, this funding will help to increase social worker assessment capacity,  fulfil unmet need, and deal with the current surge in demand and complexity of individual needs, also helping to ease pressures on unpaid carers

Social Care Pay

  • Additional funding of up to £48 million will be made available, this financial year to enable employers to provide an uplift to the hourly rate of pay for staff offering Direct Care within Adult Social Care to a minimum £10.02 per hour (matching the first spine point of NHS Agenda for Change Band 2)


  • Up to £15 million this financial year to recruit 1,000 additional healthcare support staff in bands 2, 3 and 4, to support patients in hospitals and in community health teams.
  • New measures will support people who have recently retired from the health and social care workforce to return, if they wish to, and also enable healthcare students to work in part-time support roles 

Primary Care

  • Up to £28m of additional funding will underpin a range of measures including accelerated multi-disciplinary recruitment to aid General Practice and targeted funding to tackle the backlog in routine dental care


  • Additional package of support of £4 million for staff wellbeing focusing on people’s physical and emotional needs




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