Details of a major £50m investment that will help ease pressure on the NHS by preventing unnecessary admissions and delayed discharges from hospital and residential care have been unveiled by the Welsh Government.

The Intermediate Care Fund, which was announced as a key part of the Welsh Government’s 2014-15 Budget agreement with Plaid Cymru in October 2013, will invest in services that support older people, particularly the frail elderly, to maintain their independence and remain in their own home.

The investment will help local authority social services, health and housing, along with third and independent sector partners to work together.

In Mid and West Wales, additional flexible intermediate care beds, intermediate care flats and dementia ‘move-on’ flats will be established. There will also be support by the third sector to develop twilight services for people when they return home from hospital.

Elin Jones, local AM for Ceredigion and Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Health Minister, said

“It’s good to see Plaid Cymru’s work being put into practice.

“As I hear about regularly in my advice surgeries in Ceredigion, the transition between Health and Social Care is often problematic. Too often, patients spend longer than they need to in hospital because of delays created through bureaucracy between Health Boards and Local Authorities as they wait to be transferred from a hospital to a care setting. We want to bring an end to these bureaucratic battles, and this fund is designed to alleviate some of the problems within the emergency care system by providing alternatives to hospitalisation and supporting independent living.

“In the long term, Plaid Cymru wants to fully integrate Health and Social Care so that we can break down these barriers for good. We are currently consulting on these plans so that we have a strong and dynamic Health and Social Care service and fit for the 21st century.”