Minister Rishi Sunak said extra funding would help the NHS “continue the work” of tackling ambulance queues outside hospital emergency departments.
The prime minister, promising a “bold and radical” approach to the NHS, acknowledged the problems of bed blocking, where patients cannot be discharged into the community.
He said the £8bn package, as set out in Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s autumn statement for the NHS and social care, would “address some of these issues”.
On a visit to Erasmus Darwin Academy in Burntwood, Staffordshire, Mr Sunak said: “One of the most important things we need to do is support people to return from hospitals to their homes, back to their communities, and therefore the money we put into it goes to support social care.
“And if we can do that, and we can start doing that very soon, that will really help ease some of the pressure on ambulances waiting outside hospitals.
“I know the NHS is determined to make it happen. We have given them significant funding so that they can get started.”
Earlier, speaking to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Mr Sunak called on the NHS to modernize and innovate.
He said: “We all want it to be easier for people to see their GP. We don’t want our loved ones waiting so long for ambulances or for the surgeries they need.
Better care requires innovation
“But better care requires innovation. ”
In addition to new drugs and technologies – including robots assisting surgeries, doctors using virtual reality headsets and drones delivering drugs to remote locations – “we also need to radically innovate in the way we do things.”
Patients would be given “real choice about where and when to access care” with “radical transparency” about the performance of the NHS.
The government will also ensure that the NHS “thinks creatively” about the roles and capabilities needed in the health workforce.
“When it comes to the NHS, we all share the same ambition, to give everyone in the country the best possible care, free at the point of use,” he said.
“But to make it happen, we have to be bold and radical in challenging conventional wisdom.”