Britain's Health Secretary Matt Hancock (REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Pool).

The government today (March 18) has announced a new funding boost of £7bn for health and social care services, to support the next phase of the NHS’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NHS will receive £6.6bn in additional funding over the next six months to support the continuation of the NHS response to Covid-19, and the recovery of elective services as hospitalisations continue to fall, health secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

The funding will support the hospital discharge programme, primary care costs, infection control measures and long Covid services.

It will also ensure that the NHS can continue to provide the mental health and occupational health support services it has put in place for nurses, paramedics, therapists, pharmacists, and other staff working on the frontline during the pandemic.

The latest funding brings the total package of additional support given to the health services for Covid-19 to £92bn, with £63bn this year and £29bn for the next.

Hancock said: “We’ve backed the NHS at every point in this pandemic, so they can treat patients, stay safe and save lives.

“We’re backing them again today with a further £6.6 billion of funding for the first half of this financial year, including £594 million towards safe hospital discharge.

“I can announce £341 million to support adult social care with the costs of infection prevention control and testing that will make sure visits are safe for everyone.

“We will also be extending enhanced discharge arrangements for mental health patients.”

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