The funding will reduce waiting lists and ease the demand on the NHS during Winter

The government has announced that it is investing £200m in funding to boost resilience in the NHS throughout the winter months and ensure that patients receive the care they need as quickly as possible.

The funding comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and health and social care secretary, Steve Barclay, met clinical leaders and NHS chiefs to advance plans to ease pressures in urgent and emergency care and reduce waiting lists this winter.

For the NHS, the winter months are the busiest due to increased pressures from flu, COVID-19 and seasonal illness.

The new investment intends to reduce waiting lists and ease the demand on the NHS during the busy season, as well as ensure that patients receive the care they need.

In addition, another £40m is being invested to bolster social care capacity, strengthen admissions avoidance services and improve discharge rates from hospitals.

Local authorities will use the funding to purchase more services to keep people out of hospitals and provide more packages of home care to allow people to leave hospitals more quickly.

The funding forms part of the £600m social care winter workforce and capacity boost package, which was announced in July this year.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS confederation, said: "This £200m investment… should help NHS leaders in their efforts to prepare for and mitigate against the impacts of what will be a seriously difficult and challenging winter period."

Health minister, Helen Whately, said the investment will "improve social care capacity, boost discharge rates and avoid unnecessary admissions, freeing up hospital beds and reducing waits for care".

Earlier this month, the government invested £50m in local authorities to help older adults and those with disabilities live safely and independently in their own homes.

Earlier this year, the Urgent and Emergency Care Recovery Plan was backed by £1bn to boost capacity in health systems and provided an additional 5,000 hospital beds, 800 new ambulances and 10,000 virtual wards.