An additional £15 million will be given to the NHS 111 non-emergency phone line, which has recently seen NHS Direct – which provided services in 11 areas across the UK – pull out of its contract.
The government has also pledged an extra £500 million, to be given to struggling A&E departments.
Over the next two years the money will go towards the worst performing wards, Prime Minister David Cameron will announce later today (Thursday 8 August).
Extra funding will also go towards helping social services run a seven day operation, increasing the amount of home help available.
According to the government, the money has come from Department of Health savings, not from NHS cuts.
Cameron said: “While A&E departments are performing well this summer and at a level we would expect for this time of year, I want the NHS to take action now to prepare for the coming winter. The additional funding will go to hospitals where the pressure will be greatest, with a focus on practical measures that relieve pinch points in local services.”
He added: “By acting now, we can ensure doctors, nurses and NHS staff have the support they need and patients are not left facing excessive waits for treatment.”
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “We will do whatever it takes to make sure the best A&E care is there for every patient when they need it, and we’re backing our hard-working NHS staff with the resources they need to deliver this.
NHS Confederation chief executive, Mike Farrar, said that the payments will be useful in the “short term”, but warned that a long-term solution is needed.
He said: “Commissioners and providers – including community and primary care services – need to work together to get the best value possible out of this additional money, not just transfer financial risk between each other.”