The NHS and social care in Greater Manchester are to share a multimillion-pound cash pot to help prepare for colder weather.

Lord Peter Smith, Chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership Board today announced a £5m fund to help make sure hospitals and social care can deal with the extra workload the winter months brings.

Poor weather and seasonal increases in illness such as flu pile pressure on emergency departments during winter, while delayed discharges present a major challenge in meeting NHS targets. This cash boost will support the region’s existing accident and emergency (A&E) delivery plans and help departments across the region to deliver a robust, coordinated approach aimed at ensuring patients are cared for in the most suitable place.

A redirect and triage system led by GPs and nurses within some A&Es wouHospital A&E signld aim to reduce pressures on emergency units by seeing patients whose conditions would be better managed within a primary care setting.

There will also be a renewed focus on supporting patients to return home when medically fit or to another community setting as quickly as possible for recovery. Their support needs, if appropriate, would be then checked; helping individuals access the right level of home care and support.

Lord Peter Smith said “We know that hospitals face additional admission demands in winter and we want to reassure the public that Greater Manchester is planning and working together to help patients get the best treatment in the most appropriate place, easing pressure on our A&E departments and helping patients return to their own homes”.

“The partnership approach under devolution means organisations can work more closely together to improve outcomes for patients across Greater Manchester.”

In many cases people go to emergency units when they could receive advice, be seen and assessed in a minor injuries unit, GP surgery, pharmacy or over the phone.