Community Discharge Grant 2021/22

In July 2020, the Government announced the £62 million Community Discharge Grant in England to help accelerate the discharge of patients with learning disabilities and/or autistic people from mental health hospitals into the community.


Key messages

  • In July 2020, the Government announced the £62 million Community Discharge Grant in England to help accelerate the discharge of patients with learning disabilities and/or autistic people from mental health hospitals into the community.
  • This is the first three-year grant of this type.
  • Local Government in England will receive £62 million over three years under the Barnett formula (£20 million in 2020/21, £21 million in 2021/22, £21 million in 2022/23). Funding for 2020/21 and 2021/22 has now been distributed.
  • Government information about the launch for this three-year grant in 2020
  • The key difference this year (2021/22) is that the monitoring requirements for this year’s grant have been strengthened. To ensure oversight of local authority CDG expenditure the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is introducing a DHSC data recording tool for the 2021/22 financial year (Excel). Its intention is that this should be light touch.

What is the purpose of the CDG?

The purpose of the Grant is to provide Transforming Care Partnerships (TCPs) and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) with additional funding to facilitate timely community discharge to reduce the net number of people with learning disabilities and/or autism who are inpatients in NHS hospital settings.

Sufficient funding to meet double running costs has been identified by DHSC as a particular block to timely discharge and to meeting the objectives of the national Building the Right Support programme. Double running costs are the costs incurred in the period before a formal discharge when a person is still an inpatient requiring a bed, and a community care package is also put in place. Therefore, this funding has been provided to meet these costs.

How can the CDG be used?

  • The Community Discharge Grant is designed to address some of the so-called “double-funding” problems that can make it harder to secure suitable support in the community.
  • A custom distribution methodology has been used to calculate allocations for each ICS and TCP, the calculation is based on forecasted discharges (and expected double running costs) which are driven by inpatient numbers.
  • The custom distribution methodology was developed by DHSC to directly address the double running costs challenge and allocate money where it is most needed, so ICSs and TCPs with high relative inpatient numbers – therefore needing to discharge greater numbers of people – receive more funding to overcome double running costs.
  • Precisely how the funding will be used will be a local matter, provided it is in line with meeting the overall objective. Many councils have used the grant in imaginative ways in previous years.

Examples include:

  • developing small support providers
  • employing an autistic person who is a peer advocate to support an autistic person with their planning and discharge process and advise staff
  • identifying and recruiting capacity (social workers) who have the skills to plan with people who have very complex needs
  • contribution towards the team costs of a crisis support service (single person bungalow) which has prevented 14 admissions in the last year
  • developing and build of a bespoke single person apartment (an extension to an existing supported living site)
  • work with The Centre for Collaborative Reform to pilot the use of life planning in collaboration with Individual Service Funds with people with lengthy of inpatient stays in an Out of Area inpatient placement to help develop innovative solutions to help discharge plans
  •  funding for several weeks of transitional visits, (shadowing and co working) to ensure that a discharge is well planned and appropriate.
  • covering additional costs specialist heavy weight furniture.

How is this year's grant different from last year's grant?

  • To ensure oversight of local authority CDG expenditure the Department of Health and Social Care are introducing a new light touch data recording tool for the 2021/22 financial year.
  • DHSC have developed the CDG data recording tool in conjunction with local government, with an aim to collate data to demonstrate the effectiveness of the grant. This evidence base will help to inform the Government’s understanding of how the grant has been utilised and how effective it has been, ultimately informing future decision making.
  • The DHSC CDG data recording tool has three sections
    • Section 1 – LA plans for CDG expenditure which was due on 29 November 2021
    • Section 2 – progress report due 31 January 2022.
    • Section 3 – post financial year reporting due 13 April 2022.
  • Lead local authorities for each ICS and TCP have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to the intended use of the grant, in line with the stated objective.
  • The Community Discharge Grant is a non-ring-fenced section 31 grant.

Actions for councils

  • Make sure you aware of the strengthened monitoring requirements for the grant this year.
  • Get in touch with CHIP if you would like to let us know about creative ways are using the grant or if you would like further information or support. Contact chip@local.gov.uk